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‘FOUND HELP ME’: Puppy found suffering in box at KHS dies after weeklong fight

Liam, which means "guardian" or "protector" in Irish, was euthanized after his veterinarian...
Liam, which means "guardian" or "protector" in Irish, was euthanized after his veterinarian determined it was the most humane option because he was suffering, KHS said.(Kentucky Humane Society)
Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 9:25 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A puppy abandoned at the Kentucky Humane Society a week ago has died after being found in a box with a sign saying “FOUND HELP ME,” according to KHS.

Liam, which means “guardian” or “protector” in Irish, was euthanized after his veterinarian determined it was the most humane option because he was suffering, the organization said.

“Liam died peacefully, and he is no longer in pain,” a statement from KHS said. “Liam went through far too much in his short life.”

Underweight and missing most of his fur, Liam had skin infections and mange that was so painful he had to sleep standing up, the organization revealed in a series of several social media updates.

His blood test for parvovirus, a highly contagious virus found in unvaccinated dogs, came back positive on Tuesday and he received a plasma transfusion the next day.

“His immune system was shot, but we were determined to give him a fighting chance,” KHS said. “... For everyone who has followed Liam’s story or donated in his honor, thank you for caring about him. But please remember, there are thousands of Liams out there, and they all deserve someone to believe in them.”

A man was seen running away from where Liam was dropped off after midnight on Sept. 17, the morning KHS employees found him, on the facility’s security cameras. It has not been revealed if he has been identified.

Click here to make a donation to KHS.

The full statement from the organization detailed Liam’s journey:

“We are devastated to share with you that Liam – the dog we emailed you about last week - has passed away. The emergency hospital contacted our veterinary team to say that Liam had coded. They began lifesaving measures, but he was not responding. The veterinarian believed that Liam was suffering, and that humane euthanasia was the most merciful thing to do. Liam died peacefully, and he is no longer in pain.

Liam went through far too much in his short life. Estimated to be 6-8 months old, Liam was abandoned at the Kentucky Humane Society in a box labeled “FOUND HELP ME” around 12:30am September 17 – just one week ago. He was underweight and missing most of his fur, his skin swollen and painful from severe demodectic mange and skin infections. His immune system was shot, but we were determined to give him a fighting chance. We named him Liam – which is Irish for “guardian” or “protector” – hoping this would give him and his caretakers strength.

On Tuesday, he suffered another setback when he tested positive for parvovirus, a deadly and highly contagious virus that attacks unvaccinated dogs. Parvo causes severe gastrointestinal distress and can lead to blood poisoning and death. His feces were pink from blood as his intestines were being attacked by the virus. We rushed Liam to an emergency veterinary hospital, and they did everything they could to save him, including giving him a plasma infusion. But Liam’s body was too broken from disease to fight.

Losing an animal is the hardest thing about working in animal welfare. Many people say they could never do our jobs because of the suffering we see every day. But to them we ask, “If not us, then who?” Our jobs are to love each animal, to look past the sores, the injuries, the trauma or the disease, and to see each dog, cat or horse as an individual. To love them. To hold them. To advocate for them. And when it’s time for them to go, to let them go with peace and dignity, and to commit to helping the next one who will need us. Because there are always more.

For everyone who has followed Liam’s story or donated in his honor, thank you for caring about him. But please remember, there are thousands of Liams out there, and they all deserve someone to believe in them. Tragically, Liam’s story is not unique. Animal shelters across the country see similar cases every week. But what is unique is how many people rallied around him, and around our team. We can’t thank you enough for your support and love.

If you wish to donate in memory of Liam, we would appreciate your thoughtfulness. Your support helps us keep on fighting for the next Liam, or the next Ethan, or the next Debonair. Thank you for your kindness. With your help, we’ll keep up the good fight.”

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