A badly beaten dog, left for dead by his owner, got a second chance at life when Massachusetts police officers scoured the woods to find and rescue him. Now the year-old dog is recovering from brain damage in the loving arms of his new mom, officer Alison Metcalfe.
Last Thursday Ludlow police received a call about a dog being beaten, and arrived at the home of 40-year-old Ricardo Costa, who admitted to hitting the dog with garden loppers because he defecated in his crate. He then threw the dog, named Scrunchy, into the woods because he believed him to be dead.
The officers searched the dark woods and found the dog barely clinging to life. They initially feared he was dead, but when they saw Scrunchy move his head, they rushed him to the Boston Road Animal Hospital.
“We’re flashing around and thought I saw movement but with flashlights and dark and everything like that (it was hard to see), and his head moved and one of us yelled, ‘he’s still alive,’” canine officer Michael Whitney said.
The dog, renamed Jameson, had a fractured skull, and had to be taken elsewhere for brain surgery. The medical treatment was expensive, but the officers made a down payment using their own credit cards, and supporters donated the rest of the over $10,000 needed.
“The outpouring of sympathy and concern and frustration and anger that something like this happened in the community,” said Kimberly Kulig, founder of Ludlow Residents Against Animal Cruelty. “It’s showing that everyone coming together can outdo the evil done that night.”
He is recovering, but slowly.
“When he takes a few steps, he still leans to one side,” Metcalfe said. “His eyes are bright, and he hears.”
Jameson was able to meet many of his well-wishers on Wednesday at a vigil, and will be going home permanently with one of them – officer Metcalfe.
“For us to come to work and to save the dog first of all, and then to have the whole animal lover community band together to try to save one dog – it’s refreshing and it’s heartwarming – and we don’t see that everyday,” she said.
Jameson’s former owner has been charged with animal cruelty and attempting to kill an animal, and held on $2,500 cash bail.