Feb 1, 2013 12:00 AM by Tony Spehar -

Pit Bull found starving is recovering and headed to foster home

A young Pit Bull that was found starving in the front yard of a home in Colorado Springs last Saturday headed to a foster home for rehabilitation on Friday afternoon.

The dog, named "Lazarus" after the bible character that rose from the dead, was found wandering in the front yard of a home near the intersection of South Union Boulevard and Monterey Road. The dog was so thin that he was described as looking like a skeleton; he was taken to the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region for treatment.

"The officers carried him in off the truck he was severely dehydrated and emaciated and he couldn't walk," described Dr. Crista DeJoia a veterinarian with the humane society. "He did have some dysfunction of his organs because of the severe starvation."

Dr. DeJoia was in charge of treating Lazarus for malnutrition, dehydration and organ failure. For days the dog was given fluids intravenously and fed slowly to avoid shocking his system. By Friday, just six-days after being found nearly dead, Lazarus ran through the halls of the humane society full of energy.

"He was so weak he didn't really have much of a personality," Dr. DeJoia explained. "But now he's gotten a lot more active and interactive."

The next leg of Lazarus's recovery is to leave the 24-hour care of veterinarians and move into a foster home to start rehabilitation. Lauren Fox, Executive Director of All Breed Rescue and Training, is handling the next few steps in the dog's journey to find a new home.

"It was shocking, I've been doing animal welfare for fifteen years and it's pretty rare that there are things that still shock me," Fox said of Lazarus's case.

Lazarus is going to have to be carefully fed more and more food each day until he reaches a healthy weight. He'll also have to be introduced to other dogs to see how he socializes. His behavior will also be monitored to see what if any trauma he's suffered as a result of his ordeal, on that point there are good signs as Lazarus has been consistently friendly with strangers.

"I am blown away by his ability to forgive and forget humans for the shape that he is in," Lauren Fox described.

For the next two to three-months the dog will be fostered in the home of Megan White and Steve Holzapfel, both are volunteers with All Breed.

"I think he's going to learn what people are really like," explained Megan White.

It is still unclear whether Lazarus was a runaway or was abandoned, the humane society would still like to contact his previous owner. Anyone with information is asked to call them at 719.473.1741.


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