Earlier this year, animal lovers across the country followed the story of Ethan, a dog who was abandoned in terrible condition at the Kentucky Humane Society. While the odds were against him, Ethan eventually pulled through and got a happy ending.
It was a heartwarming reminder of the important work animal rescues do, giving a second chance to neglected animals — but sadly, it’s a job that’s never done.
Months after Ethan left the shelter, a sadly similar case has arrived at the doorstep of the KHS: a badly treated puppy in dire need of help.
Warning: some of the photos in this story are distressing.
On September 17, staff at the Kentucky Humane Society found a cardboard box outside their building, taped up with the words “FOUND HELP ME” written on it.
They opened the package, and found a sight that left them in tears: an “emaciated and miserable looking” puppy.
It’s bad enough that the puppy was left taped up in a box over night (the box reportedly did have air holes) but the dog had clearly had a rough life: his skin was swollen and infected, and he was missing much of his fur.
“He was so weak from demodectic mange and malnutrition that he could not even stand on his own,” the Kentucky Humane Society wrote.
The KHS got to work treating his infections and manage his pain.
While treating the poor pup, they found further complications. The untreated infections had affected his immune system, and it appeared that the 6-to-8-month-old puppy’s growth had been stunted by malnutrition: “He is very frail and only weighs 15 pounds when he should weigh at least 25 pounds,” the KHS wrote.
They wrote that they saw a man “fleeing the area” on their security camera, no one has been identified.
As followers made donations to help the puppy, the KHS asked for suggestions for a name. They named him Liam, after a follower said it was Irish for “strong willed.”
However, the Humane Society cautioned that Liam had a long road ahead.
In an update this morning, the KHS reported that Liam had tested positive for parvovirus, a serious disease affecting dogs that Liam contracted before arriving at KHS.
Parvo can cause a number of serious medical issues including intestinal damage and septicemia — and because Liam already has a weakened immune system, the odds are currently stacked against him.
“We are not sure if he has the strength to pull through. Please keep Liam… in your thoughts and prayers.”
Despite a very challenging road ahead, Liam is in the best of care, and the Kentucky Humane Society is doing everything they can to save his life.
While things might seem dire, it’s important to remember that sometimes miracles happen. Ethan was also found in terrible shape and only had a “50/50” chance of survival, the KHS wrote at the time.
Ethan pulled through, became a national celebrity and got adopted into a forever home.
We can only hope that poor Liam will have the same happy ending.
We are hoping and praying that this poor puppy pulls through and makes a full recovery. You can do it, Liam!
You can follow the Kentucky Humane Society for more updates about Liam’s story, and share this story to spread the word about the important work they are doing to save this pup’s life.