What kind of owner could let a nine-year-old dog be emaciated, neglected, and denied medical treatment? This person should be held accountable, but the onus of responsible care still falls short in our society and will sadly continue until stricter laws governing animal neglect and cruelty are passed and enforced.
What kind of owner is so heartless as to let a lump hang from this dog's chest and not only ignore it, but surrender the dog to a county shelter?
In the meantime, Chato, a brindle coated neutered Plott hound and Labrador retriever mix, looks up with hopeful eyes and a wagging tail as visitors pass his kennel at the Hillsborough County Animal Services believing someone will rescue him and make the years of neglect and punishment just a bad dream.
Chato's tragic story began a few weeks ago when he was surrendered to the county shelter. At intake, obviously scared and confused, this poor soul is said to have snapped at his caretakers who were administering his initial examination and vaccinations.
From that moment, Chato was not allowed to be visited by the public; no individual or organization was allowed to even meet him.
Fortunately, Chato has settled in and his disposition has greatly improved. A volunteer writes:
"He takes treats so gently, and allows you to leash him with no problem. He has been granted visitation now! Life has taken such a heavy toll on Chato! Even with the neglect he faced, he still manages to wag his tail and lick your hand out of pure gratitude to feel kindness. His eyes are so sad, but hopeful that he will still have a chance to live out his many more years in happiness. We do not know what the lump hanging from his chest is, it could range from a number of things, but needs to be removed. Chato deserves so much better than what he has experienced."
Humane advocates can follow Chato's fate on Facebook by clicking here.
Hillsborough County Animal Services is a high-kill county shelter which takes in about 800 dogs and 900 cats monthly. Volunteers at Rescue Me Tampa - Shelter Dogs encourage animal lovers to adopt their next four-legged friend. There are many volunteer positions for those who want to help.
If you're interested in helping Chato, please click here as animal advocates raise awareness of this dog's plight and funds to help with his medical needs which will be made available to a reputable rescue organization or approved individual.
Chato's story has been shared nearly 700 times, and this dog is still not safe. Please share his story with your friends, relatives, and coworkers.
For more information how to adopt a dog or cat from the Hillsborough County Animal Services, please click here. Please read directions carefully; the life you save may help another dog or cat.
If you would like to continue receiving the latest news on pet issues and how we can help those who cannot speak, please click the "Subscribe" icon.
Follow the National Pet Rescue Examiner on Facebook by clicking here. Please visit and "like" my page. You are welcome to submit story ideas by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org.