‘It’s a Miracle She Survived’

A dog is lucky to be alive after being dumped in a garbage bag in a New York City parking lot.

Mariya Vlasova, co-founder of AMA Animal Rescue, a no-kill animal shelter in Brooklyn, told Newsweek it’s a “miracle” that Nanook the dog had survived her harrowing ordeal.

She was discovered by police officers in the middle of the night in a garbage bag that had been left between two cars. “She was still alive, but barely. The poor dog was so malnourished that she couldn’t move or lift her head,” Vlasova said.

The hospital soon made contact with AMA Animal Rescue and asked it to take on Nanook’s case. The ASPCA estimates around 3.1 million dogs enter shelters of this kind, but few, if any, would arrive in the condition Vlasova and her colleagues found Nanook in.

Nanook was found in an emaciated state.
Nanook was found inside a black bag between two cars, and her injuries indicated she had been subject to a sustained period of abuse. She was lucky to be alive.
AMA Animal Rescue

“The doctors discovered that she had not only been starved for a long time but also kept in a small, tight space, presumably a crate, because the muscles in her legs had atrophied,” Vlasova said.

“There were also large, infected pressure wounds on her legs that indicated she had been lying on a hard floor without much movement for a long time.”

Nanook was extremely dehydrated and appeared to be suffering from an infection that doctors suspected was a result of her spending long periods lying in her own urine. Despite all of this, Vlasova recalls being struck by how Nanook was “the sweetest dog.”

“She’s a little wary of new people but once she smells you, she’s ready to receive pets and give out kisses left and right,” she said. “It’s evident that she’s been through months, if not years, of abuse and neglect. Yet we are absolutely blown away by how resilient this dog is. It’s a miracle she survived. The doctors think she’s about 4 or 5 years old. We just hope not all her years have been spent like this.”

Nanook now faces a long road to recovery that will involve gradual weight and muscle gain alongside physical therapy. “She has to be fed meals slowly, many times a day,” Vlasova said. “It’s very sad because she’s always so hungry.”

Looking for a Home

Once she is back to full health, the plan is to put Nanook through all the necessary steps such as spaying and vaccinations before putting her up for adoption. Vlasova promised: “We will find the most amazing forever home for her.”

As for how or why Nanook ended up where she was, Vlasova has some theories.

“She seems to be a purebred dog, so someone most likely bought her as a puppy,” she said. “Maybe she was a gift, and whoever received that gift didn’t care that much about getting it. Or maybe the owner passed away, and whoever was in charge didn’t treat her right.”

Regardless of the background, Vlasova believes what Nanook went through is completely unacceptable and warrants a criminal investigation.

“Whoever did this is an animal abuser and should have been prosecuted,” she said. “It was done with malicious intent. Someone had to watch her waste away and continue this kind of treatment with no remorse.”

Nanook was found in an emaciated state.
Nanook is on the mend follower her ordeal. But she still needs help and a new, loving home.
AMA Animal Rescue

Under New York State law: “A person who overdrives, overloads, tortures or cruelly beats or unjustifiably injures, maims, mutilates or kills any animal, or deprives any animal of necessary sustenance, food or drink, is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or by both.”

Unfortunately, Vlasova has only limited information on where Nanook was found and doesn’t know the names of the officers who discovered her.

While Nanook is continuing his recovery, AMA Animal Rescue, which is a non-profit organization, has launched a GoFundMe to help cover the costs of her emergency medical treatment and any further treatments required.

Those wishing to donate to the fund can do so here.

The incident comes just weeks after several dogs were deliberately drowned in disturbing circumstances in Oklahoma. Elsewhere, in Texas, a cat was found dumped in a trash can. In that instance, the incident was picked up on camera.

Elsewhere, a pit bull was abandoned and thrown over razor wire in similarly disturbing circumstances.

Do you have funny and adorable videos or pictures of your pet you want to share? Send them to life@newsweek.com with some details about your best friend and they could appear in our Pet of the Week lineup.

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