An injured and emaciated pup was found abandoned with a pile of garbage, left outside in the freezing Michigan cold for more than week after his family moved away and didn’t bring him along, according to an animal advocacy group.
Terri Looby, a volunteer with the Detroit Animal Welfare Group (D.A.W.G.), and another member of the organization responded to a call of a small dog wandering the streets of Redford Tuesday, using their lunch breaks to track down the pooch, Looby told InsideEdition.com.
“We were looking for a small dog, something like a Shih Tzu, and they mentioned something about it being on a chair,” she said. “There were garbage bags and boxes, everything to the side of the curb for trash pickup... and there was this dog curled up in this tight ball.”
Though far from a Shih Tzu, it was obvious that the dog, a young pit bull-lab mix, needed help.
“As soon as I said ‘hi, baby,’ his whole body — you could tell he wasn’t going to hurt us — his tail was wagging. He jumped down and he started limping immediately, but he came over and started kissing my face,” Looby said. “I had the car door open and he jumped in, didn’t even think about it. He was in that car and already sitting so proudly."
Temperatures that day dipped to 19 degrees, Looby said, and the winds made it feel much colder.
“I think it took me a good 45 minutes to feel my toes when I got out of the cold,” she said. “To see a dog so loyal to his family to sit in a chair in the freezing cold to wait for them to come back... it still breaks my heart.”
Though starving, the dog — now dubbed Olli-Loo — was well-behaved, and sat still even though he could smell a chicken patty that Looby had waiting for him.
“Once I said, ‘you can take it, it’s yours,’ it was gone in two seconds,” she said, laughing. "He waited.”
The little dog that had originally brought D.A.W.G. to the neighborhood was nowhere to be found. Neighbors told Looby that Ollie-Loo’s original owners may have been evicted from their home and left, abandoning both pups about a week ago, later returning for only the smaller dog.
“He left Ollie-Loo with the trash,” Looby said. “He’s so full of love; he doesn’t care who you are, he’ll give you kisses, that tail never stops wagging, he’s never barked — the only time we heard him cry or make a whimper, was when we left. He just wants to be loved."
Ollie-Loo, who is believed to one-and-a-half years old, was found to have a broken femur that will require surgery and donations have poured into a YouCaring page created to raise funds for the operation.
“We’ve been very lucky,” Looby said. “We have reached our goal for his surgery, but we still have, after his surgery, numerous vet visits to make sure the process is going well. He’ll have to be neutered and he’ll need his shots. So we still need funds.”
Ollie-Loo is now in foster care, where he is basking in the attention of his foster family.
“[His foster mom] has three smaller dogs that he’s met through a fate, and he seems like he’s going to do completely wonderful with them,” Looby said. “There’s a teenager in the house and she had friends over, and he was soaking up all the love and attention from those girls. For what this dog has been through, and for him to show off so much love and compassion, it’s amazing.”
Ollie-Loo is currently on a five-day stray hold as the law requires, but once that time period is up, he will be eligible for adoption.
D.A.W.G. has received a few applications to adopt the pup and will be taking his placement very seriously, Looby said.
“He’ll find the best home,” she said.
It is unclear where Ollie-Loo’s original family moved to or how to get in touch with them, but Looby said the local police department and animal control has been notified of the incident.
“Animals are not garbage; they’re family. Treat them as family and don’t leave them outside, especially when it’s so cold out,” she said.