Chino, a 10-year-old golden retriever was tossed over the fence of a church by his owners. The poor dog was completely alone, and sat there unnoticed overnight, waiting for his owners to return. But they never did.
Chino’s fur was matted and he was balding from years of neglect. His skin was irritated by mange and fleas and his eyes were cloudy and full of discharge. He was so malnourished that he had trouble walking. and appeared to be blind.
When the church employees spotted the dog the next morning, they knew they had to get him help immediately.
Zach Skow, founder of Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue in Tehachapi, California, came to rescue Chino. Chino was scared and would not stop barking at first, but it wasn’t long before he settled down and welcomed Skow’s help.
“He obviously had not been taken care of and was in an environment where it just stagnated and got worse,” Skow said. “His eyes were almost rotten — they had been badly infected for a long time and we thought he would end up losing them.”
Skow brought Chino for veterinary care and discovered that in addition to his skin and eye conditions, his teeth were broken and worn, likely from chewing on a metal fence out of boredom. He was also immuno-compromised from years of not being fed properly.
Chino’s previous owners are unknown, but Skow said he thinks that he was kept outside and barely interacted with people.
“I don’t think he had anyone paying attention to him for years and years,” Skow said.
Chino began treatment for his many ailments and in only two weeks, he’s made major progress. His eyes were severely damaged, however, some of his vision could luckily be restored with treatment and his skin is healing each day.
“It’s only been two weeks and he’s acting like a completely different dog,” Skow said. “He’s playful, happy and running around. When we first saw him we never thought he would even be able to run.”
Chino is in a foster with other dogs and cats, and is continuing to recover and is expected to be healthy enough to be neutered in about a month. Chino was scared when he first met Skow, but now he is comfortable and friendly with everyone he meets.
“At first we thought, ‘Oh man he’s growling at us, this could be an issue especially since he’s older,’” Skow said. “But he’s got a great temperament. He’s your typical golden retriever.”
Because of his sweet demeanor, Skow would one day like to put Chino to work in the rescue’s Miracle Mutts program, which trains rescue dogs to become therapy dogs for visits at retirement homes, homeless shelters or hospitals. Chino is healthy and ready, he can enter the program and start training.
This new life is a far cry from the lonely life Chino once knew, and he will never have to live that way again. Skow has already found a great new family to adopt the dog, and he’ll soon be ready to go home with them.
“It’s hard to believe people can give up on their animals like this,” Skow said. “But for every dirtbag dumper, there are 100 of us willing to pitch in and make progress for our homeless pets.”
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