An abandoned dog tied to a tree isn’t uncommon for rescuers, but this Pit Bull’s situation was unprecedented. Max the dog was tied so tightly to a tree that he couldn’t even move his head.
Fortunately, the dog drew the attention of numerous individuals, and they knew exactly who to contact: It’s Kerry Haney, a long-time volunteer and animal rescuer with the New Jersey-based Don’t Bully Us Rescue.
She was at home when she received a flurry of calls and notifications about Max. She received six phone calls, a dozen or so text messages and hundreds of Facebook tags about a dog, padlocked to a tree in Swedesboro, starving to death.
“His head was padlocked in a position that he could not move his head an inch. There was no food, no water and he was sitting in his own feces and urine. In my pajamas, I went out to the address that was sent to me to see if this dog was in fact out there and if there was any chance I could speak with the family to see if I could help,” Haney said.
Haney went to check on the dog in the middle of the night and couldn’t find him, so she called the Woolwich Township Police Department, who told her that they were aware of the problem and were attempting to get the dog from the owner.
After a few days, Max was finally retrieved from his horrible situation and transported to Gloucester County Animal Shelter .
Max was kept in the shelter until his owner was hauled to court and subsequently punished and found guilty of animal cruelty, after which Max was officially surrendered and could legally be rescued and fostered. Which is exactly what Haney did the moment she could.
The poor dog has heartworm and didn’t do so well on his behavioral tests, but Don’t Bully Us Rescue is working on that. At 20-months old, Max is house broken, crate trained and is going through personalized training with a professional dog trainer as well as receiving treatment for his heartworm.
“Max is a puppy in a big boy’s body,” Haney said. “He clearly never got to play as a puppy, so he has all the same puppy energy and playfulness as a 16-week-old pup! He has no manners yet, but we are working on it.”
Haney is very happy to see that Max gets along with her other dogs and really loves people, especially kids. As Max has so much pent-up energy Haney believes he’d do best with an active family and one who will give him plenty of love and attention that he so richly deserves.
Dogs who are tied up and left alone without proper care and attention can suffer from physical and emotional distress. It’s not uncommon for them to experience anxiety, depression, and even aggression towards humans and other animals.
Rescue organizations like Don’t Bully Us work tirelessly to rescue and rehabilitate dogs like Max, providing them with the medical care, love, and attention they need to recover and find forever homes.
Pit Bulls, in particular, are often the victims of unfair stereotypes and discrimination due to their breed. However, with the help of dedicated rescuers and advocates, many of these dogs are given a second chance at life and prove to be loyal, loving companions.
Max’s story is a reminder of the importance of responsible pet ownership and the need for organizations that work to rescue and care for animals in need.