On January 29, someone dropping off donations to Kentucky Humane Society noticed an emaciated dog in the parking lot and immediately notified staff.
The dying dog was so weak he couldn’t even lift his head and was rushed to the shelter’s Veterinary Services department.
He weighed just 38 pounds, over 40 pounds underweight, and was started on IV fluids and wrapped in warm blankets.
“He is the thinnest dog we have ever seen that was still breathing,” wrote the shelter in a blog post.
They named the fighter Ethan and said, “The outline of every bone can be seen from his dehydrated skin, and his muscle loss is extreme, as his body tried to find any fuel to survive.”
He arrived covered in feces and urine, so staff believes he was locked in a crate without food for weeks.
Ethan is literally fighting for his life and is being monitored around-the-clock at an emergency clinic after taking a turn for the worse. The day after he was rescued, he displayed rapid breathing and some neurological symptoms and was rushed to the clinic.
He’s in critical condition but stable and the shelter reports that he’s eating and drinking with the assistance of the medical team. “He has to be held up to bite and swallow because he is too weak to hold up his own head.”
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But the shelter is not giving up on him.
“We’ve never wanted so badly for an animal to survive and be able to have the happy ending they so desperately deserve,” they posted.
Each day he continues to want to eat and drink and on January 31 a miracle occurred – Ethan wagged his tail for the first time. On February 1 the update read, “Ethan made it through another night! We believe his chances of survival are still just 50/50, so every day he is with us is a miracle.”
The most recent update states Ethan has gained 9 pounds since his rescue, due mostly to fluids. He also showed another great sign that his body is on the mend and beginning to function properly – he pooped for the first time. “We are thrilled to report that Ethan is making slow but steady progress.”
The community and world are rooting for Ethan to make a full recovery and get the second chance at happiness he deserves.
“However he got to this condition, we are doing everything we can to save his life. Please keep Ethan, and our staff who are fighting for his life, in your thoughts,” added the shelter.
Dozens of people reached out to adopt Ethan but his foster family, who spent months helping the sweet boy recuperate, fell in love with him and adopted him. His new dad, Jeff, wrote, “From the very beginning, it’s always been about Ethan and what is best for him and his future. I believe with all my heart he is in the right place. There’s nothing we wouldn’t do for him. We love him so very much.”
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