In early January 2018, a starving dog was found locked up in a house in Costa Rica. He was eventually discovered by Mercedes Mora, a dog lover who helps save animals with Charlie's Angels Animal Rescue - Costa Rica (CAARCR). She immediately gave him food before taking him to the charity.
An investigation is still being conducted into how he ended up in this condition. Rescuers say he was so weak he could barely lift his head. Tania Cappelluti, founder of CAARCR, said to The Dodo:
When I saw this bundle of skin and bones lying in his cage I had to hold myself together and try not to break down...when you rescue animals, you see a lot and you have to deal with a lot of ugly situations. Leon, unfortunately, is one of the worst cases I have ever seen.
He has been named Leon, because Cappelluti wanted to give him the strength of a lion. She said his condition "took [her] breath away".
The name turned out to be very fitting as Leon soon started to show signs of recovery. Cappelluti said:
When our vet put some food in his bowl, he lifted his head and got all excited! He ate everything and even licked the bowl clean! Leon wants to live. He is a fighter.
However, vets soon discovered that Leon was anemic and it would take more than food and care for him to fully recover. This is where Rottweiler Norman came in.The charity posted on several local Facebook pages to try and find a blood donor dog. They needed to be a healthy dog weighing more than 25 kilos (55 pounds). Two people swiftly got in touch, but unfortunately they lived too far away.Cappelluti then called an old friend, Jose Lobo, remembering he had a dog called Norman who could possibly be a match for Leon. Lobo dropped all his plans and immediately took Norman to the vet's where it was discovered he was healthy enough to donate blood."Norman was super relaxed during the whole procedure," Cappelluti said. "However, his dad almost passed out!"
Lobo told The Dodo:
Norman was the ideal donor! I stayed with him the whole time, but had to leave the room when I saw all the blood...Norman, however, was extremely brave [and] relaxed. [He] had a look in his eyes, as if he was thinking, 'It's all good, dude, don't worry, let's do this!'
Norman's family is extremely proud of everything he did for Leon. Cappelluti even brought some tokens of gratitude over, including a pink tennis ball, which he is now very fond of.
Leon is apparently on the road to recovery and vets say that once he's strong enough, he'll be put up for adoption.
If you would like to donate to Charlie's Angels Animal Rescue Costa Rica and help save more animals like Leon, you can do so here.
H/t: The Dodo
* * *
At Holidog, we aim to improve the lives of your furry friends. Enjoy your holidays with peace of mind, knowing your pet is in great hands (find a petsitter near you) and spoil them with our monthly subscription box filled with yummy treats and toys (they're going to love it). You can count on us!