PETA found tiny eight-year-old Chihuahua Henry in a horrendous state. The tiny malnourished dog was kept outside in any weather and was chained all day long. The animalweighed less than 5 pounds and looked more like a skeleton than a living pet. Henry was staying amongst six other, much larger dogs who were also kept bound and imprisoned in the yard.
Heartbreaking footage released by PETA shows Henry inside a doghouse without any food or water, 'being eaten alive by flies'. As it was established later, the canine was also suffering from heartworms, a serious mosquito-spread disease resulting in severe lung disease, heart failure and death in pets.
A statement by the organisation said:
The seven dogs on that property were consistently malnourished and neglected, even though PETA's fieldworkers had provided them with free food, doghouses, spay/neuter services, and other essential care.
The mistreated dog was not the only tragic discovery PETA animal inspectors made in the 'house of horrors'. They found the skeletal remains of a black pitbull Minnie inside a shanty doghouse, still attached to a heavy chain. The necropsy proved that the poor animal died from starvation and extreme neglect.
If not rescued, all the living dogs were likely to suffer the same destiny in the nightmarish property. But, to the community's relief, the local sheriff’s office granted permission to remove all the pets from there. Mirror reports that Henry’s owner was charged with seven counts of animal cruelty.
Daphna Nachminovitch, PETA's senior vice president of cruelty investigations, commented:
PETA rescued Henry in the nick of time, but countless other dogs like him are suffering out of sight, chained in backyards this burning-hot summer. PETA encourages everyone to keep their dogs indoors with the rest of the family, remind others to do the same, and always come to the aid of animals in need like Henry.
A happy, loving home, at last
Henry suffered so much in his life, but the strike of luck brought him together with the best owner he could possibly get. The resilient animal was adopted by Doreen Dykes, a lifelong animal rights activist, on the very same day he was rescued.
Doreen happened to visit PETA at that time and describes her encounter with Henry as love at first sight.
He has these beautiful dark eyes. They're the softest, brownest, most beautiful eyes I've ever looked into. I wouldn’t miss this part for anything in the world.
Doreen cared for many animals with her late husband Jim, but since his passing, she had been alone. Little Henry's adoption marked the first time she'd taken on a companion of her own. And it looks like a match made in heaven.
Henry is now virtually unrecognisable and lives his best life. He almost doubled his weight and enjoys walks in the park and a sun-soaked flower garden.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is the largest animal rights organisation in the world. Head to their website to learn more or support their rescue efforts.