His muzzle was sliced in half, and his body covered in wounds, burns and open sores. This starved dog couldn't even stand up when he was found a few days ago on the island of La Réunion, near Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.
A motorcyclist noticed the little dog on the street, as a man wielding a sword was dragging the poor animal along the dusty ground. Appalled by what she saw, the young woman ran to save him and took the emaciated dog to a local vet clinic.
Isabelle Desjardins, who runs the charity Envol Toit that took the dog in, explained what happened on their Facebook page (translated from French):
Whilst riding her motorbike, the driver noticed a man in his seventies dragging a skeletal dog along the middle of the street, and carrying a sword in his other hand. Horrified, she got off her bike and the man immediately ran off leaving the dog behind.
Luckily, the two-year-olddog, who has since been named Martin, is now in safe hands at a local vet clinic where he is slowly recovering. The shelter volunteers explained how Martin must have ended up in his handicapped state:
He cannot stand and has no instinct to walk. I fear that he was kept in a chicken coop and didn't even have space to move.
The French charityALMAhave decided to take Martin into their care in order to help the organisation that saved Martin's life. For though it's onlya tiny island, la Réunion has a big problem with stray dogs and there are hardly any people or charities that can help save them.Isabelle Desjardins added:
A mass neutering of female dogs is essential if we want to save these stray dogs' lives. Otherwise the situation will never be resolved. And we cannot let these dogs wander about the streets like this.
The shelter looking after Martin posted a video of him, with the volunteer commenting, "Up close and personal with poor Martin, I can't cope, it's too much for me!". Martin has been the victim of horrific animal abuse for two years, but he will be safe now.
As for Martin's cruel torturer, he has been found and arrested by local police. It seems Martin is certainly not the first of his canine victims, but he will be the last. We will be sure to keep you updated.