If you’ve watched Bad Vegan on Netflix then I’m sure you’re like me and think Sarma Melngailis‘ adorable pitbull Leon is the best part. Is Leon still alive? What’s the status of him in 2022? We know he’s not really immortal, but that doesn’t mean he’s not living life to the fullest!
Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives. chronicles Pure Food and Wine owner Sarma Melngailis, the “vegan Bernie Madoff” as she’s sometimes known. Melngailis claims she was hoodwinked and conned by her ex-husband Anthony Strangis (a.k.a. Shane Fox), who convinced her to send him millions of dollars, resulting in nonpayment to her employees and the eventual permanent closure of her restaurants.
A significant part of the reason Melngailis fell for Anthony is because he told her he could make her dog live forever and as a fierce dog lover, Melngailis fell for him hook, line and sinker.
Bad Vegan: Is Leon still alive?
Yes! Leon the pitbull is still alive and well. Netflix TUDUM confirms that the adorable pup (the de facto breakout star of Bad Vegan) is thriving and still very much a part of Melngailis’ life. He recently celebrated his 12th birthday.
While chatting with TUDUM, Melngailis revealed what it’s been like for her and her dog in recent years since everything that happened with her ex-husband. She claims having Leon by her side has been very “grounding” and helps her reassure herself in moments of intense anxiety and stress.
Leon did have a hematoma, which can sometimes manifest in dogs with floppy ears. Thankfully, he underwent surgery to fix it and came out better than ever. Some of his favorite foods include raw sauerkraut and coconut oil…which is, interesting.
Here’s the full quote of things Leon loves to eat:
"Oddly, he loves raw sauerkraut, and the dark Latvian rye bread that my father sells online, which he sends to me. He also loves coconut oil. Those are the more unusual things, but he’ll also go berserk for any kind of delicious meat. (If I’m a bad vegan, Leon is a very bad vegan.) Generally, he eats a wide variety of foods — I think the diversity (plus raw sauerkraut) is good for his gut microbiome. (And just in case anyone’s wondering, no, I would not feed Leon pizza, Dominos or otherwise!)"
It sounds like Leon is living a pretty fantastic life these days, just like he deserves!