When the 4-year-old lab was discovered, he weighed 29 pounds, roughly half of what he should weigh. His core body temp was 10 degrees below normal. He was very near death, and could not even stand.
When the Oswego, New York, dog was discovered, authorities had no clear idea as to the identity of the owner. Marjorie Wentworth, of Paws Across Oswego County animal rescue, said the situation was so grievous she doubted the painfully thin, bones-potruding, lethargic labrador mix would live through the night.
“We didn’t think he would make it through the night.”
Apollo was brought to the rescue on December 12 and nursed back to health. He now weighs 48 pounds, and will be leaving in a few weeks to go to a new home. Apollo’s previous owner is facing an animal cruelty charge of starving the dog, according to New York State Police. Unfortunately, animal cruelty is just a misdemeanor charge that carries up to a $1,000 fine and a year in jail in that locale, according to authorities.
Deena M. Rossi, 40, of North Jefferson Street in Mexico, New York, was arrested December 17 for torturing or injuring an animal.
Paws Across Oswego County is a non-profit animal rescue that was established in 2001. Apollo was picked up on the street in New Haven and brought to the rescue, Wentworth said.
“We had no idea if the dog had an owner. We were more concerned with making sure he survived. He could only walk a few steps and would fall down. He had to lay down to eat because he was too weak to stand.”
After much debate, it was decided to post his picture on the organization’s Facebook page, in the hopes that someone would recognize the dog and come forward to identify the owner. The photo is admittedly hard to look at it, thus the debate, but ultimately it was decided it was the most ethical thing to do — not only to gain information about Apollo, but to raise awareness about animal abuse everywhere.
Immediately after posting the picture, witnesses came forward about the identity of the owner, and worked with the state police to ensure her arrest.
Wentworth said there are important lessons to be learned from Apollo.
“We don’t want justice for Apollo. Animals forgive and forget. They are better than humans. He loves everyone. We want to be advocates for Apollo and put an end to animal abuse.”
The animal rescue has asked supporters on Facebook to stand up for Apollo by sharing a video or a photo that proclaims that “I stand up for Apollo against animal abuse.” So far, the support for Apollo has flourished, as has Apollo himself.
[image via Oswego.com]