It may seem like a typical vet appointment Monday, but for a Shih Tzu just named Buddy, it may be one of the first times he's ever been touched by human hands.
“He looks like he’s probably lived in a cage or extreme neglect,” said Dr. Mike Maddux. He said Buddy is no young pup. “I think he’s at least 10-years-old, he may be as old as 12.”
Buddy has lived a life of neglect, untreated ear and eye infections have left the little guy deaf and blind. However, what's even more heartbreaking is how he was found.
“He was double bagged in two black trash bags,” Erin Lebo explained.
Lebo drives a stretch of Yeargan Road in Rutherford County often. One day last week she passed a trash bag in a ditch and immediately knew she had to turn around. Inside, Buddy was fighting to live or waiting to die.
“What some people mean for harm, God turns to good,” Lebo said. “They estimated just by his dehydration that he had probably been there for three or four days."
Lebo went back to check the trash bag to make sure she didn’t leave another dog behind. Thankfully, she had not but she made another gruesome discovery. Nearby she found several small canine skulls and skeletal remains.
“At first I was thinking maybe it’s a rodent, no there were multiple small canine skeletons,” said Lebo.
She had found a doggie dumping ground, likely from a nearby breeder but authorities don't know for sure. We do know Buddy is one of the lucky ones.
“At least his last few years he knows that somebody loves him, somebody cares for him and makes him more comfortable in the time that he has left and I think that’s really important,” Maddux said.
“I will pray that God will soften those people’s hearts so they can stop abusing animals,” Lebo added.
Lebo, her community and the vet hospital are helping to pay for Buddy's treatment.
Anyone who'd like to help, can do so by making a donation in Buddy's name at the Savannah's Crossing Veterinary Hospital or by calling 615-410-7697.