Rescuers work to save malnourished puppy after its canine companion dies

Updated: Jun. 8, 2020 at 11:03 PM EDT
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BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - Animal rescuers believe two puppies were so badly mistreated that one of them died, and the other puppy is now fighting to survive.

A couple in Trotwood, Ohio spotted the two dogs on Friday afternoon.

Rescuers with Joseph’s Legacy in Middletown picked the dogs up to rush them to safety, but before they even got to the animal hospital, they say one of the puppies died.

“They were very emaciated," Heather Harphant, a Joseph’s Legacy volunteer and board member, said. "You could tell they’d been dehydrated, and the one was, they were both probably in really, really bad condition, and the one was worse and less responsive.”

The surviving dog, now named “Ducky,” fought through the pain and spent days at Grady Veterinary Hospital. Harphant says he was not only starving, he also had seizures and hypoglycemia.

Ducky’s teeth are in rough shape too, Harphant says, as his front two teeth are missing for reasons unknown.

“They don’t have a voice, so somebody’s gotta be their voice," Harphant said. "They’re innocent.”

After getting intravenous fluids and medication, Ducky headed to his foster home, where they are focused on helping him gain weight.

“He’s doing great. He’s coming along," Harphant said. "He’s learning to be a puppy. He looks better. He’s upright and walking around and gonna thrive from here.”

So far, rescuers have not been able to locate the dogs’ original owners. To them, though, it is clear that what happened to the puppies was animal cruelty.

“Don’t throw 'em out, innocent puppies or kittens, don’t throw 'em out in the elements," Harphant said. "They don’t have the bodies to survive.”

Although it was devastating losing one of the puppies, the volunteers who saved Ducky’s life say they are thrilled to see him thriving.

“It’s been pretty awesome," Harphant said. "His ears are enough to kind of pull you in and put him right in your heart.”

Joseph’s Legacy is accepting donations to help care for Ducky. He will eventually be up for adoption.

The rescue is also looking for fosters, volunteers say, because they have been overloaded with severe cases.

To donate, adopt, or foster, visit the Joseph’s Legacy Facebook page or website.

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