It’s not uncommon for rescues to acquire animals that have been neglected or abused. It takes a lot of time, money and energy to nurse those animals back to health so they can have a chance at their happily-ever-afters.
But when the neglect is so extreme that there are layers of serious conditions, it takes more than hard work and love to bring them back: It takes a miracle.
One pup who could really use a miracle right now is Liam, a young dog whose exact age has been difficult to determine because he’s in such bad condition.
Liam was discovered on the morning of Sept. 17 outside the Kentucky Humane Society.
“On the morning of Friday, Sept. 17, Kentucky Humane Society staff member Warren went out to the recycle bin and found a cardboard box with ‘FOUND HELP ME’ written on it,” the KHS shared in a Facebook post on Sept. 20. “The box was taped shut and had air holes punched into it. Warren opened the box to find something that brought even our most seasoned team members to tears: an emaciated and miserable looking animal was staring up at them.
WARNING: The following Facebook posts display graphic images of animal neglect.
“The young dog’s inflamed skin was raw and swollen from infection, he was missing almost all of his fur, and he was bloody from the sores that covered his thin body. He was so weak from demodectic mange and malnutrition that he could not even stand on his own.”
The shelter also said that security cameras recorded a man dumping the puppy next to the bins shortly after midnight, but they gave no further information.
The shelter’s staff immediately tended to the sickly dog, finding that his state was so poor that “his immune system is shot,” causing even the smallest problems to become potentially life-threatening.
Not only did the pup — which they named Liam, Irish for “guardian” — have a bad case of mange, malnutrition and a skin infection, but he tested positive for parvovirus, which often proves fatal for puppies.
“Our team rushed him to a veterinary hospital, where he is receiving round-the-clock emergency care in their quarantine ward,” KHS posted on Tuesday. “Parvo is an extremely serious and highly transmissible virus that attacks unvaccinated dogs. Symptoms include vomiting and severe diarrhea. Parvo causes intestinal damage, resulting in severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, and it can lead to a septicemia, a deadly blood infection.”
No one knew if Liam would make it, so compromised as he already was.
On Wednesday, Liam was still in critical condition, receiving round-the-clock care and medications. By Thursday, he was still alive and had stopped throwing up, but his skin was hurting him so much he was sleeping standing up.
Vets gave him more pain meds and continue to monitor his process.
“Please continue to keep this little guy in your thoughts and prayers,” the humane society wrote. “He needs all the positivity we can give!”
Hundreds of people have been following along since the first post, hoping and praying that the little dog in such rough shape pulls through so he can get his second chance at life.
The humane society is also using the opportunity to urge all owners to make sure their dogs — especially puppies — are vaccinated against parvo.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.