An abandoned dog chained to a tree isn’t a new sight for rescuers, but this Pit Bull’s predicament was a new low. The dog, now named Max, was so tightly secured to a tree that he could not even move his head.
Thankfully, the dog caught several people’s attention and they knew exactly who to call – Kerry Haney, a long-time volunteer and animal rescuer with the New Jersey-based Don’t Bully Us Rescue.
She was at home when she received a flurry of calls and notifications about Max.
“I received six phone calls, a dozen or so text messages and hundreds of [Facebook] tags about a dog, padlocked to a tree in Swedesboro, starving to death,” Haney told The Dodo.
“His head was padlocked in a position that he could not move his head an inch. There was no food, no water and he was sitting in his own feces and urine. In my pajamas, I went out to the address that was sent to me to see if this dog was in fact out there and if there was any chance I could speak with the family to see if I could help.”
She went to check on the dog in the middle of the night, but could not see the dog so she contacted the Woolwich Township Police Department who told her that they were aware of the situation and were trying to get the dog from the the owner.
It took a few agonizing days, but Max was finally removed from his terrible situation and taken to Gloucester County Animal Shelter.
He was held at the shelter while his owner was taken to court and eventually fined and found guilty of animal cruelty, after which Max was officially surrendered and could legally be rescued and fostered. Which is exactly what Haney did the moment she could.
Max has heartworm and didn’t do so well on his behavioral tests, but Don’t Bully Us Rescue is working on that. At 20-months old, Max is house broken, crate trained and is going through personalized training with a professional dog trainer as well as receiving treatment for his heartworm.
“Max is a puppy in a big boy’s body,” Haney said. “He clearly never got to play as a puppy, so he has all the [same] puppy energy and playfulness as a 16-week-old pup! He has no manners yet, but we are working on it.”
Haney is happy to see that Max gets along with her other dogs and really loves people, especially kids.
As Max has so much pent-up energy Haney believes he’d do best with an active family and one who will give him plenty of love and attention that he so richly deserves.