Benji was a severely malnourished dog with no fat on his bones at all when he was discovered by rescuers from Sidewalk Specials in South Africa.
His owner had apparently “overlooked” feeding the profoundly neglected animal. Instead, Benji had been chained with nothing to eat and left with nothing to sleep on but cold and hard cement.
It was there that the rescuers discovered him curled up in a frightened ball, covered in wounds, and with every single rib showing.
When a food bowl was first put in front of the emaciated dog, he looked like he thought it was a trick. He would take a bite and then look at the rescuers as if he thought he was doing something wrong.
However, the dog was so hungry that he could not stop eating, even with the fear of being punished for doing so. He ate everything that he could.
Slowly, he was led with the food and lured out to where his saviors could get him into a vehicle. They immediately rushed him to a veterinary hospital, hoping they weren’t too late and that the dog would survive.
The vets there were astounded by the severe neglect and abuse that Benji and the other rescued dogs had experienced. They all stayed two hours past closing time just to make sure the rescued animals got the medical attention they so desperately needed.
Benji’s many visible injuries were treated so that the dog could have a chance to begin to heal.
While there, volunteers and vets also started working on gaining the terrified dog’s trust. It would be a long road to gain it, but he seemed willing to at least consider a hand that was outstretched to him.
Despite everything he had been through, Benji still had a spark of hope within him.
By nine that night, Benji was finally brought to his foster home. There, he would have his own bed and a chance to experience some real rest and care for the first time in his life.
By the next week, he was already beginning to play with his foster family, including another dog in his foster home. Benji was learning to experience the good things in life.
Eventually, his wounds healed enough, and he gained enough weight that he was ready for his forever home. He wasn’t fully recovered yet, but his health was no longer in danger.
He was going to survive despite what he had been through.
He was adopted by a woman who gave him all the love and attention he could ever hope for.
Benji now gets to spend time in the park, play fetch with his human and dog friends, and live in a home with someone who cares about him.
It’s amazing how much he has changed since he was first taken off the chain in the neglectful and dire situation he was found in.
While some of the physical scars remain, he is now a happy and healthy dog with a love of life, a shiny coat, and a whole lot more muscle than when we first met him.
While there is too much cruelty in the world, it is amazing what love can do to restore our trust.
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