Abused dog was one hour away from death by deliberate starvation before rescue

Dog recovering after neglect, starvation in Pike Road

PIKE ROAD, Ala. (WSFA) - It’s an astounding case of animal cruelty. A pit bull is safe and sound with a veterinarian in Pike Road, but just a few days ago it didn’t look good for the pet.

This is a story of naked cruelty against Truman.

“They just looked at the animal as disposal object,” said PAWS President Laura Baumgardner.

PAWS is an acronym for Pets Are Worth Saving, a statewide dog and cat rescue organization based in Montgomery.

A week and a half ago, the pit bull was skin and bones, on his last leg, when he somehow managed to break free from his chain and trudge on to a neighbor’s house. The neighbor called the animal rescue group known as PAWS.

“He’s starting to look better,” Pike Road veterinarian Dr. Mickey Golden observed.

“It appears the dog had been starved for a very long period of time,” said Baumgardner.

WARNING: Graphic photos and video below

A veterinarian predicts Truman was very close to death from deliberate starvation before his rescue.
A veterinarian predicts Truman was very close to death from deliberate starvation before his rescue. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
A veterinarian predicts Truman was very close to death from deliberate starvation before his rescue.
A veterinarian predicts Truman was very close to death from deliberate starvation before his rescue. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
GRAPHIC: Abused dog receives blood transfusion (Source: Laura Baumgardner of PAWS)

Baumgardner says Truman’s neglect happened in a neighboring county. She declined for now to offer any details because a police report hasn’t been filed but could be submitted pending further investigation. Animal cruelty is a felony in Alabama.

“He was just loaded, loaded and loaded with worms,” said Golden.

Meantime, the photos are sad; this is by far the worst case of starvation PAWS has seen since its beginning 17 years ago. Exhausted and nearly lifeless, Truman found himself on the exam table, barely hanging on at Golden Animal Hospital in Pike Road.

“Probably six weeks to get him where he’s feeling good,” said Golden.

Golden guesses Truman is around three years old and should weigh around 75 pounds. Right now he is standing at 44 and counting.

“You can tell he’s appreciative,” said Golden.

Truman is on his way to recovery doing well all things considered, but in the beginning it was very close. In fact, Golden thought Truman had at most one hour to live.

“He was within that much of being gone,” Golden said.

A blood transfusion, pills, shots and a heaping dose of TLC seem to be working.

“He’s a lucky dog,” said Baumgardner.

No one knows how long Truman was chained up and forgotten, but love intervened and brought him to a place of shelter.

Baumgardner says assuming Truman continues to recover he will like be adopted out. Truman’s medical bills are adding up. Dr. Golden estimates it’ll take close to $5,000 to nurse the animal back to full health.

PAWS is accepting donations on Truman’s behalf here.

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