VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia – After just 24 hours at the Hope for Life Rescue shelter in Virginia Beach, Ziggy is making progress.
While her legs were still shaking, the dog was curious about the animal shelter on Tuesday – a contrast to her arrival.
“She couldn’t move; she couldn’t even lift her head, ”said Danielle Rugenus, Hope for Life Rescue office manager. “You can see her trembling here at the far end; It’s just because of the muscle tone she’s lost. “
Less than a year old, the Labrador mix was found hungry, weak, and severely underweight. She is so thin that you can see her bones through her skin.
“She currently weighs 26 pounds, even though she should weigh around 50 [pounds]”, Said Rügen. “She has no muscle tone for her body and is losing tufts of hair from malnutrition alone.”
Ziggy was taken to Hope for Life Rescue Monday afternoon after the dog’s owner turned her over to an animal control officer. The owner’s roommate called after finding the puppy in a small box, 24 inches x 18 x 19, which she thought she spent most of her time in.
Rugenus believes Ziggy has not eaten in several weeks.
“When she came in we were all very emotional,” she said. “Then it was very solemn for the rest of the night because you just don’t know where the mind is of someone who does this. We want to make sure the people who did this to her know that this is wrong; that it is unbelievable to see something like that. “
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Ziggy is looked after around the clock, slowly gains strength and fearfully overcomes her shyness.
“She eats every two to four hours,” said Rugenus. “It has no bark. If she is currently trying to bark, her mouth will simply open and close. It’s almost like your voicebox has been taken out. It could be because she barked excessively for her life, or possibly because of malnutrition. “
Community members went out of their way to show their support. They donated items including toys, beds, and groceries. People so far donated a total of $ 3,500 to help Ziggy with medical costs and ongoing care.
“We would like to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts,” said Rugenus. “We appreciate anyone who wants to help this cute girl because she deserves the world.”
Although it won’t be easy, Rugenus hopes Ziggy will make a full recovery.
“I think since muscle tone is lost it will take several weeks for her to regain it in order to be able to fully walk and stand up again while lying down,” she said.
Ziggy will be ready for adoption in time because the lovable, tail-wagging puppy has a lot more love to give.
“We go through every single file and choose the best candidate who can give her all the love in the world,” said Rugenus.
According to animal welfare, the owner could be charged with cruelty to animals. The investigation continues.
If you would like to help Ziggy click here.