It was a scene some hardened animal rescue veterans likened to a horror movie: a 3-year-old dog gravely injured, his neck infected from the carabiner hook sinking into the flesh, weighed by a 15-pound tow chain.
“This isn’t something we normally see on the street — just carelessness for life,” said Kristina Rinaldi, executive director of Detroit Dog Rescue, the group that took over the canine’s care Monday. “It’s horrific.”
Detroit authorities are working to learn more about who left the German shepherd-Rottweiler mix in that state. And as the dog now named “Courage” for his surprising resilience faces a lengthy recovery, DDR seeks someone to step up and become a medical foster caregiver.
“This needs to be a home with no children or other animals so he can decompress and we can care for him,” Rinaldi said Tuesday. “DDR will provide food and medical care. We just need someone to provide a loving home.”
Detroit Animal Control officers found him on Monday afternoon. DDR said it will work with animal control to find out who left Courage to fend for himself and possibly pursue charges.
The team immediately rushed him to Oakland Veterinary Referral Services in Bloomfield Hills, where staffers treated his necrotic tissue and heartworm. They estimated Courage had been pinned for at least several weeks, Rinaldi said. “He was suffering in the cold, basically chained down with a metal piercing in his neck.”
Yet despite his condition, he quickly earned the name “Courage” with his buoyant disposition.
“He is about the sweetest dog you will ever meet,” Rinaldi said. “He’s very happy. He came to us wagging his little nub of a tail and was very grateful someone rescued him. He’s warm and friendly with every doctor. He just has so much courage to go through this and come out on top with his personality like he does.”
Courage likely needs six months of care before he can be permanently placed with an adopter. DDR initially had sought about $6,000 for his treatment through its website, but on Tuesday, Bissell Pet Foundation offered to cover the treatment, Rinaldi said. However, “if anybody wants to donate, that money is going to go to any legal action on Courage’s behalf.”
News of his plight attracted media attention and public outcry.
“Poor innocent dog...I hope Courage recovers,” one user wrote on DDR’s Facebook page. “No animal deserves such horror. Bless you for rescuing this sweet boy.”
Another posted: “He’s so precious!!! I can’t even fathom doing this to an innocent animal!!!!!”