While Randy Abke and his wife enjoyed a walk near their Hempstead, Texas home, they happened upon a shocking case of animal abuse. A 6-month-old puppy laid on the bottom of a dry creek bed, muzzle bound with duct tape and weighted down with a heavy chain.
“Rusty” was unable to move, eat, or drink, and likely would have died there if not for Abke’s intervention. The animal lover immediately called 911 and connected with dispatcher Donna Mace, who is also a mother of one of the sheriff’s who would soon be involved in the case. Mace told KHOU, “I actually thought I was sending the deputy out to put him down, because it sounded that bad.”
But Rusty has a fighting spirit, and Abke reports that after the pup was treated at the vet he was eager to eat, drink, and “wag his tail some.” He would be calling the veterinarian’s office home until he was well enough to be adopted.
Abke and his family would have loved to call the puppy their own, but with three dogs hogging all the belly rubs at home they were unable to do so. Meanwhile, Rusty was getting all the spotlight from every local news station (and his adoption requests were piling up)—Abke comments, “Rusty is a happy fella now.”
Barely a day after his rescue, it appeared Rusty would have a family very close to home. Donna Mace, the 911 dispatcher who took Abke’s call, says:
When I found out the next morning he had made it and he was doing well, I told my husband. I just feel like it’s something I had to do.
On Friday, April 8, Mace and her family arrived at the vet clinic to adopt him. Mr. Abke was there to see him off, and posted the following video to his Facebook page.
As you can see, Rusty seems pretty content with his new life, and it has barely even begun! Mace says, “We’ve got a big yard and a lot of loving family members. He’s not going to want for a thing.”
It is many people’s hope that by sharing his story and getting it the media coverage it needs, cruelty cases like Rusty’s will not go unnoticed, nor the abuser’s actions unpunished. Rusty’s case is still under investigation, but the Waller County Animal Control Program encourages anyone with information to contact the sheriff’s office at 979-826-8282. We will update this post as information becomes available.