It seems like you hear about it every day, another animal that is the victim of someone else’s careless and malicious abuse. Sometimes, the stories are so overwhelming that it’s hard to hear them, read about them, and see the pictures. People naturally want to turn away from these types of stories, stories like that of Champ the dog. However, the last thing anyone should be doing is turning away. The story of this little dog is one of the most heartbreaking stories ever heard, yet it’s also one of the most inspiring. There is no doubt that his story is one that is worth telling and he deserves to have it told. He deserves a chance at a normal, happy life where he can learn what it’s like to be loved and cared for.
It all started a couple of weeks ago when Animal Control Officers received a report of a dog that had been laying in the same spot for days on end in someone’s backyard in South Carolina. Of course, it was right in the middle of the summer heat and when Animal Control Officers arrived, they found this poor dog that had been starved for so long that he wasn’t even able to stand up, chained to a tree with a collar that was three times bigger than it needed to be. The poor dog was only about one year old. He’s a Mastiff mix, yet he had been starved so severely that you would never guess his breed by looking at him. Worse yet, he had open wounds and he was covered in maggots.
His pictures are absolutely heartbreaking and it makes you wonder how he managed to survive. Literally every bone in his body sticks out, yet his eyes are bright and in one photo, he’s looking directly into the camera as if he’s saying, “I’m not done yet, I just need somebody to help me.” Thankfully, somebody did in the form of making that phone call to Animal Control Officers. When you hear this story, you probably think that the poor dog had been abandoned, his owners running off in the middle of the night and failing to take him with them. Actually, the truth is much worse.
As it turns out, the dog supposedly belonged to the boyfriend of the woman that was living at the very same house where he was tied up in the backyard, Elizabeth James. She openly admitted that she knew the dog was there and that she saw him every single day, yet she refused to offer him medical care or even a simple bowl of water. She told Animal Control Officers that she had not fed or watered him for 30 days and she had no idea how he had found enough water to survive. She showed absolutely no remorse and she made no effort to explain her reasoning for what she had done, as if there is any reason at all that would be considered acceptable for such a thing. Instead, she made it quite clear that she didn’t want Champ and she was just waiting for him to die.
There’s not an animal on the face of the earth that deserves this type of treatment but when you look into the eyes of this dog, you see that even though he’s been treated in the most despicable manner possible, he still hasn’t given up on humans. Where many people are unable to forgive, this dog is more than willing to do exactly that. In reality, the shelter that took him in and routinely works with him as he regains his strength has commented time and again on his gentle nature and his ability to trust individuals unconditionally. Although he is still very weak, he is managing to keep some solid food down and even take a couple of steps here and there, something that he couldn’t do just a few days ago.
As far as James is concerned, she was arrested and booked on charges of animal cruelty. Whatever the punishment turns out to be, it probably won’t be nearly severe enough. Hopefully, Champ can go on to recuperate fully and eventually be adopted to a home that will love him as much as he deserves to be loved. This is a sweet dog that is ready and willing to show all the affection he has to someone that will give him just a little bit of their time. That’s the most inspiring part of this entire story. If people could learn to love and forgive the way that Champ does, the world would be a much better place indeed.