It’s not that Rusty was mean or vicious by nature; he was just lonely. Chained to a wall in the same yard for ten-plus years, you’d probably be the same way.
When Jared Piper first came across Rusty, the dog snarled and barked at passersby all day from the property where he lived in Phoenix, Arizona. He did not seem friendly at all.
Perhaps on a hunch that there was more to this dog than met the eye, Jared decided to stop by and pay Rusty a visit, peering in through the chainlink fence barring the yard where he lived. Rusty growled and barked, but Jared just waited and soothingly said that everything was going to be okay until at last the dog calmed down. Rusty began to warm up to this human stranger.
Day after day, year after year, this poor dog remained chained up outside. His cruel owner said he was dangerous and…
Then Jared started making it a habit to stop by to visit Rusty every day.
Each day, Rusty became a little bit friendlier. He would wag his tail and brush up against the fence so that Jared could pet him through the fence and feed him treats.
Jared saw that the poor dog was in a horrible state. He was covered in flies and dirt, and he had tumors growing on his body. The dog was always chained up outside in the scorching Phoenix sun. It was apparent that whoever the owner was, he wasn’t taking good care of him. No one ever came out to pay him any attention, much less love.
Soon, Rusty’s newfound friend knew that he had to do something to set him free. One day, Rusty’s owner came out during one of Jared’s visits and admitted nonchalantly that Rusty had been chained there for 10 to 15 years.
— The Dodo (@dodo) May 23, 2016
So, Jared took it upon himself to say that he was not leaving without taking Rusty with him.
At first the owner resisted, saying that the dog would attack him and bite him. Jared paid him no mind, and eventually the owner handed Jared Rusty’s chain, dog attached, and the two friends were on their way.
He wasn’t aggressive or mean at all afterwards. Just the opposite. It was the first time he had seen the world outside of that dingy yard. Rusty’s days of loneliness and misery were over.
Jared also happened to video-record the whole encounter with Rusty’s owner, and Rusty’s subsequent exodus into freedom—it’s truly a treat to behold should you want to have a watch for yourself:
Although Jared wasn’t able to adopt Rusty himself, he provided a temporary place to live and saw to it that he would eventually find a loving forever home.
Jared took Rusty to the vet, probably for the first time ever; they had to cut off his old collar because it was so corroded, and he got a bath, probably the first bath in many years. It took a long time to scrub away all of the dirt caked on his body. Rusty was also covered in motor oil, and they had to use degreaser and dish soap to clean him.
They took care of his medical concerns, and pretty soon, Rusty was a healthy, happy dog that loved humans.
And very fortunately, they found Rusty a wonderful new human family—one with a big grassy yard to play in—and several doggy siblings to run around and play with, never to be lonely or neglected ever again.