This Abused Pit Bull Was Starved Almost To Death – Until An Unlikely Rescuer Heard Of His Fate

Images: YouTube/PAWsitive / Facebook/Forte Animal Rescue
Like many women, Darlene often enjoyed a gossip with her nail technician while getting a manicure. So, when the conversation turned to the manicurist’s dog, Darlene thought nothing of asking to see a photo. But, confronted with an image of a starving pup, she knew she had to do something.
Image: YouTube/PAWsitive
California native Darlene had always been an animal lover. She also loved getting her nails done, and regularly visited her local technician in Marina del Rey. The retired interior designer always went to the same manicurist, and she got on well with the woman who fixed her nails.
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On one of her regular trips to the nail salon in early 2015, Darlene and her technician’s conversation took an unexpected turn. The manicurist explained how she was looking for a home for a dog. The animal, she said, belonged to her adult son and, from what Darlene could grasp, it wasn’t being looked after properly.
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The salon worker claimed that her son wasn’t even feeding the dog or giving it water. Indeed, the family seemed to have no intention of looking after the pup, and the manicurist just wanted rid of the animal. She had even considered having the puppy euthanized, but the $200 fee stymied her.
Image: YouTube/PAWsitive
Clearly worried about the poor pup’s predicament, Darlene asked the manicurist to show a picture of the unwanted pet. What Darlene saw both shocked and appalled her. “I don’t think this dog was fed,” she said in a PAWsitive YouTube video posted in January 2016. “They just put him in the backyard and forgot about him.”
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Indeed, the dog was wasting away. Almost every bone was visible beneath his grey fur, including his entire ribcage, spine and hip bones. It looked like the pit bull hadn’t seen a good meal for quite some time.
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Darlene was so concerned about the dog, whose name was Smokey, that she rushed over to her manicurist’s home, where the son was also living. Infuriated, she pounded on the door until he answered. “You could have looked after this animal, you jerk,” Darlene apparently said when she came face-to-face with him.
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Deciding to take matters into her own hands, despite the fact she’d never rescued a dog before, Darlene leashed the dog and took him away. As soon as the kind stranger got the puppy into the safety of her car, she attempted to give him some food. However, Smokey was so weak that he couldn’t find the energy to eat.
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Image: Facebook/Forte Animal Rescue
Wasting no time at all, Darlene whisked Smokey off to an animal hospital. Even the vet, apparently, was lost for words at the state the pit bull was in. Indeed, Smokey was suffering from stomach problems after being hungry for so long.
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Image: Facebook/Forte Animal Rescue
At this point Forte Animal Rescue was called. The local animal charity would be able to organize Smokey’s care and, if he recovered, his eventual adoption. Darlene agreed to split the cost of the dog’s treatment, which would amount to thousands of dollars.
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Now that he was in expert hands, Smokey could embark on his road to recovery. Tests, unfortunately, showed that he was in a desperate state. After assessing the animal’s blood, vets could see he had been starving slowly for weeks, if not months.
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Smokey was so neglected that his digestive system had gone into shock. To help the pup get better, he was placed on an IV drip and given regular food. If he was to survive he’d need to put on weight – and fast.
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Image: Facebook/Forte Animal Rescue
Slowly but surely, Smokey did begin to get better. After four weeks, the pit bull was back to a healthy weight, having put on 20 pounds. The progress gave Forte Animal Rescue hope that the pooch would make a full recovery. And so they began looking for a foster home.
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Image: Facebook/Forte Animal Rescue
Before long a suitable foster home was found for Smokey where he could stay while he completed his rehabilitation. Giving an update about the dog in April 2015, a Facebook post on the Forte Animal Rescue page said, “He now has lots of energy and expends it trying to play with every dog and person he meets.”
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Just a few weeks later, Smokey went up for adoption. Then, in June 2015, the once desperate dog found his forever home. He went to live with a family in Los Angeles, where he would have all the love he’d ever need.
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Image: Facebook/Forte Animal Rescue
The adoption came about after Smokey’s foster parents had to leave for a week. One of Forte Animal Rescue’s volunteers agreed to look after the dog temporarily and brought him to work. A co-worker then fell in love with his sweet personality. And the rest, as they say, is history.
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After Smokey’s new owners got him settled, they invited his old friend Darlene over to check up on him. In video footage from the tear-jerking reunion, the retired interior designer was clearly delighted to see the transformed pet. And he seemed as happy as ever to see her. Indeed, he sprinted right up to her when she walked in to the yard.
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The special meeting was also important to Smokey’s new family. “I have so much gratitude, and I really mean that,” his new mom gushed gratefully to Darlene. “He’s so part of my life, he’s like one of my kids.”
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Seeing Smokey in his new home was enough to confirm to Darlene that she’d done the right thing. “There’s something special about Smokey,” she told PAWsitive. “He wasn’t mean, even after all that he went through, he’s a nice loving animal. If this situation came up, I would do it again, and again, and again.”
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Not much is known about what became of Smokey’s former owner. Forte Animal Rescue confirmed a criminal case had been opened again him, but it had no further details. In the meantime, the organization posted that, “Smokey isn’t worried about it, he’s living in the now and looking forward to a wonderful future as someone’s loved family member.”

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