When AMA Animal Rescue rescued Rascal, he was possibly the skinniest dog rescuers had ever seen.
Rascal was found chained up outside in the New York City heat earlier this summer. The one-year-old pit bull weighed only 34 pounds when he was brought to an emergency animal hospital.
Rascal was so emaciated that nearly every bone in his body was showing through his small frame and he could hardly stand. He had bite wounds on his legs and his feet. His tail was stained with urine, presumably from being kept in a crate for weeks at a time.
Despite all that, he had so much love for people.
“Mentally, he was so friendly and trusting from the very beginning,” Michele Walsh, animal care director for AMA Animal Rescue said. “But physically, it was a very long road to recovery.”
Rescuers had to feed and give him water in tiny servings multiple times per day to avoid overloading his digestive system because Rascal was so skinny. Rascal got a little stronger each day and started gaining some weight with food and water servings slowly increasing.
Rascal had pressure sores all over his body because he spent long periods of time locked inside of a crate. With time and some medicine, the wounds cleared up and he began feeling much better.
“It took over a month for us to get him healthy enough to go into a foster home,” Walsh said. “He was friendly and playful with everyone and we knew he would do well once he finally got out of medical boarding.”
Walsh brought Rascal to a foster home that was experienced in fostering sick dogs. The home already had four cats and dogs who could show him the ropes of life inside a home. Walsh said at that point, he was thriving.
“When we first brought him in he had this big goofy head and a tiny little body,” Walsh said. “Then his body started catching up — and he seemed to have completely transformed into this handsome, social and healthy dog. He was doing great.”
After doing so well in his foster home, it wasn’t long before Walsh got a call from a rescuer friend with some great news.
“When I heard the words on the other end of the phone, ‘We have the best forever home for Rascal,’ I just started crying,” Walsh said. “My connection told me about a woman named Ida Helmers, who lived in the countryside in New Hampshire and wanted to make Rascal the prince of her home. We contacted her right away for an interview, and the more we spoke to her, we knew it was going to be amazing.”
Rascal had nearly doubled in weight and was ready for a loving home. Helmers woke up at 4 a.m. one morning in July to drive five hours to New York to meet Rascal and bring him home for good.
“My heart completely melted when I finally saw him in person,” Helmers said. “I had only seen him on Facebook on a friend’s page, and I felt like it was not even my choice — I was being led to do this. Everything fell into place like it was truly meant to be.”
Rascal’s dog sister, Kasha, a 7-year-old chow, and has shown him all the tips and tricks of living there. Such as how to ask to go outside or where to stand when Mom is cooking to maybe get a scrap. Rascal also shares the home with two rescue kittens and he is very gentle with them.
Rascal now lives near the White Mountains in New Hampshire, where he has plenty of space to run and play outdoors. After a long day, there’s always time to cuddle in the sun.
“His doggy bed is right next to my bed, and every night he will sit and wait in front of the bed for me to bring him his blanket,” Helmers said. “As soon as I cover him up, he snuggles into his bed and looks up at me with the sweetest eyes. When he looks at me, I instantly feel better about anything I was worried about that day.”
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