When a picture of a Weimaraner that literally appeared to be starving to death appeared on a parish animal control page in Louisiana, animal lovers in New Orleans got the dog to the only no-kill rescue shelter in the city, the Southern Animal Foundation. Deanna Theis, who was the assistant director, had seen pretty much everything before she met the skeletal dog, Alex.
But when she saw how desperate his situation was, it wrenched her heart. “Severe neglect and starvation, that’s what we saw in the picture. It was a terrified emaciated dog that needed help fast,” she told WVUE in New Orleans.
When they got Alex, they couldn’t believe he’d made it this far. “How he [was] still alive at this point [was] pretty much a miracle,” Theis told WVUE. If her organization had not rescued him, he would have most likely been put down at the parish shelter. “He was extremely close to death. If they’re not pulled by rescues they’re euthanized.”
The Southern Animal Foundation set about feeding Alex on a controlled diet to help him build his strength and put on weight. Even after just 24 hours, the poor dog had already gained 2 pounds (approx. 1 kg) as SAF posted on their Facebook, evidence of just how hungry he was!
Alex isn't sure what all the fuss is about, but he's enjoying the attention he's getting when he's out for a walk. He's…
Perhaps the saddest moment was when X-rays revealed exactly what the traumatized dog had been surviving on: a diet of rocks and sticks. He had to have surgery to remove the debris before he could really get back to normal. But grow he did, putting on weight and getting closer and closer to being fostered and adopted.
Needless to say, Alex’s heart-wrenching story got the attention of residents all over New Orleans, and he would get lots of supportive waves and honks when he got taken out for his walks. As SAF pointed out in a Facebook post, “he doesn’t know he looks pitiful, and he loves us already.”
11/13 Alex update! Alex had a busy afternoon in a photo-shoot! Local photographer (and SAF client/adopter/volunteer)…
Pretty soon, lots of people had seen the pictures and read the story of this miracle dog that survived intense starvation and was just looking to be loved and to love someone else.
Meanwhile, Alex helped SAF raise money and attention for its efforts and even got a professional photo shoot! Plus, people around the country sent in care packages with fun treats and toys for him. His life definitely had turned around completely from those first terrifying days, when SAF staff didn’t know how much longer he would live.
Then the day finally came when Deanna Theis and her fellow staff members had to say goodbye to their shelter’s incredible mascot, whom they nursed back to health and become so close to.
We received numerous care packages & checks for Alex today. Thank you to EVERYONE that's been supporting Alex for his…
Alex’s new mom, Diane Lundeen, actually had two Weimaraners already, so he found himself in good company. In addition to having gained lots of weight (he weighed around 80 pounds (approx. 36 kg) once he settled down at his new house), Lundeen said he had improved in lots of other ways, according to Doggies Care.
“He has good color in his gums, his eyes are bright, when he goes to sit down he doesn’t whine. He has this incredible joy for life that’s awesome,” his proud mother said.
As for SAF, they “were sad to see him go, but it’s time for him to experience life in a loving home,” they wrote on Facebook. From death’s doorstep to Weimaraner heaven, this has been an incredible journey for Alex, the miracle dog.
It's a happy (and somewhat sad) day at SAF! Alex, weighing in at 68 lbs, left with his new foster mom today! If all…
Alex foster home update: Alex discovered snow while on his Christmas vacation to the midwest. He sniffed it tentatively…