Abused dog found malnourished and abandoned, recovering - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Abused dog found malnourished and abandoned, recovering

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A dog that was dumped, found all alone, sick, starving and in desperate need of help is now recovering thanks to volunteers and 7News viewers.

Volunteers with the rescue group Chain of Love say phone calls about donations and adoption have been pouring into Abandoned Pet Rescue about Nikos. An anonymous donor even gave $900 towards Nikos' recovery. "We've gotten a lot of attention for him, a lot of well wishes," said Jane Ziemba of Abandoned Pet Rescue. "We're very very hopeful for his care."

Since Thursday when 7 News aired the story about Nikos, many people have stepped up to help Nikos. "We've been getting many phone calls since the moment that it aired, wishing us well, many donations coming in ... He's been a great ambassador for rescue all around," said Ziemba.

Nikos was found Wednesday morning wandering in the Redland section of Southwest Miami-Dade. They are calling him Nikos because the name is a strong one, but the roughly 3-year-old American Bulldog mix is anything but strong, except perhaps, in spirit.

Nursery workers told them they saw Nikos and another dog dropped off and abandoned. Nikos is malnourished and at least 20 pounds underweight. His ribs and his hipbones are also protruding. He is 44 pounds but should be 65 pounds. "When you don't feed the body right, the body starts shutting down, the nerves start shutting down, and everything starts cramping," said Marina Rittel-Friedrich, a veterinary technician.

But that's not all. Nikos cannot open his mouth. Vets believe Nikos' malnourishment is caused by a condition called Masticatory Myositis, an autoimmune disorder in which the tissues of the jaw become so inflamed he cannot open his mouth to eat or drink. "So he was starving slowly," said Mirta Maltes of Chain of Love Rescue. "We find people who really just don't care."

Despite his poor condition, Nikos has IVs to help with hydration, and at the Abandoned Pet Rescue Shelter in Fort Lauderdale, vet technicians are feeding him a mild canned food through a syringe and giving him medication. "He is such a sweet soul, and whatever you do to him, he is so great in it," said Rittel-Friedrich.

Volunteers at Abandoned Pet Rescue hope that Nikos recovers quickly. "My hope for him is that he recovers and becomes a very healthy dog and be loved, like he should be," said Ziemba as she wiped tears from her eyes.

Nikos was found with another dog, but the other dog is in better condition. It is unknown who abandoned Nikos. However, abandoning an animal is a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida.

For more information on how you can help Nikos, visit www.abandonedpetrescue.org.

For more information on Chain of Love, go to www.chainoflovedogs.org.


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