Feb. 9 UPDATE: One of the good Samaritans who rescued Willow wants to adopt her. See more here.
Willow, a friendly husky, was found by the side of a road in Maple Ridge so emaciated that rescuers believed she was just hours from death before someone finally stopped to get her help.
The dog was skinny and so listless that people passing by initially thought she was a dead coyote.
Fortunately, Willow was rescued, taken to the British Columbia SPCA and is now doing well.
The question though remains whether this dog, so emaciated that her bones was sticking through her skin and she was eating gravel to survive, was left out to die or whether she got lost or ran away.
Senior investigator Eileen Drever said it appears Willow was cared for at some point as the dog is socialized and friendly. But she was found with no identification.
If Willow was left to die, it’s a very cruel and painful death she would have suffered.
She’s estimated to be between one and two years old and weighed 15 kilograms when she first arrived at the SPCA on Jan 31st, compared to a normal weight of about 24 kilograms for a dog of her age and breed.
Drever said that weight puts Willow on the extreme scale of undernourishment.
She has been assessed with a score of “one” on the canine body conditioning scale of one to nine, meaning that she is severely malnourished.”
The dog was rushed to Dewdney Animal Hospital in Maple Ridge where she received around-the-clock treatment and she is now back in shelter care.
When she first came in she was unable to lie down due to abdominal pain caused by rocks and soil in her gastrointestinal tract…There were no food remnants in her stomach so we think she was eating gravel to try to stay alive.”
Since her rescue Saturday, Willow has already gained one kilogram.
She was barely able to walk when she came in. Her muscles are still very weak and she sometimes loses her balance but is now able to walk nearly a block with support.”
Drever said if the owner isn’t found and the case turns out to be a cruelty investigation, Willow will be available for adoption.