Turk is a big black bear of a Newfie, perfect for snuggling and eager to please, but never allowed in the house. When an LAPD sheriff arrived at the dog's home to evict its residents, that was the first time anyone knew this boy was even there.
It is illegal in California to tether your dog for longer than three hours---Turk was there for ten years. He reeked, was emaciated, and had a painful (benign) tumor.
The sheriff ordered the family to bring him inside, but a neighbor helped convince them to surrender Turk to Hope for Paws
. Founder of the non-profit Eldad Hagar drove to the home to collect Turk, where his owners handed him over "as if he was an old couch."
The subsequent drive to the animal hospital was not an easy one. Hagar wrote in a Facebook post
a few weeks after the fact:
Turk smelled like a dead animal... I could barely breathe the whole drive to the hospital. At the hospital we needed 4 hours to clean him up and wash away 10 years of filth. We then had to start medical treatment, remove a painful tumor, and in just a few days, Turk became a really happy dog.
All this boy wanted was to be loved and love in return. Instead, he wasted away for days and days at a time; over 3,600 of them, to be exact. After his laborious makeover, Turk became a much happier dog. He was clean, neutered, and ready to enjoy his golden years in comfort.
Hagar's assistant Lisa Arturo contacted the Frosted Faces Foundation
, who found the big boy a forever foster. "It's just NOT OK to treat animals this way...," writes Hagar. "Turk craves attention, he just wants to be with people, and what these people did to him his whole life is so messed up and sad."
We would certainly change his story if we could, but for now Turk is safe inside a home and no doubt loving every second of it. He also hopes that for other dogs like himself, people will speak up if they suspect something is amiss. "[E]ducate them," Hagar urges, and please, do what you can to be their voice.
H/t Hope For Paws/Facebook, Featured Image via Greyboy Pet Prints/Eldad Hagar/Flickr