Animal rescue personnel were left baffled over the abrupt discovery of an emaciated pit bull terrier mix, found tucked away in the bushes at Michigan Animal Rescue League on Feb. 7. Given the frigid conditions in Pontiac, MI, it’s a miracle that this neglected dog survived at all.
MARL is a well-established shelter, caring for the community’s animals since 1953. Shelter employees do not know how the dog, now called Winston, came to be on their property, but they are thankful to have him in their care.
“We are not sure if he wandered off and knew that this was a safe place to come, or somebody had purposefully left him somewhere near us to surrender him,” said Magee Humes, Executive Director of MARL. “But what we do know is that we’re so glad he’s here so that we can care for him and get him back on his feet.”
Incredibly, Winston was discovered by another dog, who was out for a walk with a shelter volunteer. The dog feverishly pulled and tugged at his leash, leading his handler straight to Winston, who was cowering and trembling in pain in the brush against the shelter.
“The dog he was walking started pulling on the leash and barking, and he [the volunteer] didn’t notice right away, but there was this dog that we had never seen before, up against our building,” Humes explained. The dog’s background is a mystery — he had no collar, tag, or microchip, and security cameras gave no clue as to who may have left the dog.
A long, yellow rope was found tightly tied around Winston’s neck, and he was barely able to stand on his hind legs. Winston was immediately brought indoors, his eyes full of sadness and fear.
“He’s been neglected for quite some time — you can see he’s pretty skinny, he’s very malnourished, he’s got some untreated wounds on different parts of his body,” Humes acknowledged. “He’s also got what we think is frostbite underneath, so we think he’s been laying outside in the cold for quite some time.”
MARL estimates that Winston will need about six to eight weeks to heal before he is placed for adoption. They are optimistic that Winston will be matched with the perfect family once he is healthy and happy again.
Estimated to be around one or one-and-a-half years old, Winston has some weight to gain as he heals. A typical dog his age weighs around 60 lbs, and Winston is sitting a good 15 pounds lighter than he should be.
“We will give him the solace of time, proper nutrition, and medical care,” Humes stated, “and of course, love, so he can regain his trust in people.” Judging by Winston’s most recent Facebook photo, he’s already beginning to respond positively to his new caregivers.
“The difference between the images you saw of Winston yesterday and the images of him today — is YOU,” MARL wrote on Facebook, thanking their loyal donors for their continued support. Thanks to the kind hearts and hands of animal welfare advocates, Winston, and others like him, can live the happy and healthy lives they deserve.
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