A pit bull mix brought to the MSPCA in late July was so emaciated that veterinary staff were surprised he had survived.
But even though he was nearly starved to death, the dog, who staff have named “Glitch,” “loves people” and is “sweet natured,” according to a news release.
Two people brought Glitch to the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center in Jamaica Plain on the night of July 30. They had found him in Canton near Massasoit Community College. At about a year old, Glitch weighed just 15 pounds at the time, 35 pounds less than a healthy dog his age, the release said.
The mostly black dog with white feet and white splotches on his snout walked hunched over and on his shins, according to officials. That made them think he had spent most of his life in a small cage. He was also hypothermic.
“This is one of the worst cases of neglect I have ever seen,” Dr. Maria Brandifino, who examined the dog in Angell’s Emergency & Critical Care Unit, said in the release. “When he arrived my first thought was: How could he have even survived this?”
Mike Keiley, MSPCA-Angell’s adoption centers director, said in an interview with Boston.com that when a dog arrives at the organization in a condition like Glitch, they’re usually depressed and completely focused on survival. But even during that time, Glitch still wagged his tail and licked the staff’s hands.
“The important thing to know about him is in an incredibly weak state … he still showed that affection, clearly showing that his personality is wonderful,” Keiley said.
Glitch has begun his recovery. When he arrived at the veterinary hospital, he immediately began receiving fluids via IV and staff slowly gave him food.
“We’ve had to place him on a rigid refeeding protocol to ensure he doesn’t gain too much weight too soon, which itself can be very dangerous,” Brandifino said. “But the bottom line is that someone nearly starved this dog to death.”
Glitch is staying at a foster home while he continues to gain strength — a member of the MSPCA staff agreed to take him in so he doesn’t have to stay in the shelter while he recovers, an environment officials believe could have been stressful for him. When he’s ready, he’ll be up for adoption, the release said.
Keiley said he hopes Glitch will make a full emotional recovery. Officials are unsure whether Glitch’s back will fully improve with time, or if there will be some type of lasting limitations. Either way, Keiley said the MSPCA will continue to help him heal, and will help him find his new home.
Caretakers won’t know Glitch’s full personality, things like how athletic he is, or other similar traits, until he’s recovered more, Keiley said.
“It will be really interesting to see how he ends up being,” he added. “All our early indications is that a really sweet personality is there, and has been there.”
The MSPCA is still trying to figure out who owned Glitch. Anyone who helps the organization find the owner, and can help get the person responsible for his condition convicted of felony animal cruelty, will receive a $1,000 reward, officials said.