LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A three month old Boxer puppy is now being nursed back to health at a local vet clinic after falling victim to animal cruelty.
It started over the weekend. A good Samaritan heard his whimper and responded to the call. The emaciated Boxer puppy, now named Rocky Balboa, continues to fight for his life at Southside Animal Clinic in Lake Charles.
"He was almost dead whenever the good Samaritan that found him brought him in," said veterinarian Dr. Matt Traylor.
Just two days later, Rocky is doing much better. But on Monday his future didn't look bright.
"Poor little Rocky was found, he's been grossly neglected," said 4 Paws Society President Wanda Williams. "He was out in this heat, suffering terribly. He had been starved."
In fact Dr. Traylor said it's been a long time since rocky ate a meal.
"He's about approximately three months old, probably for the last several weeks to a month to get in that condition," said Dr. Traylor.
Rocky is also plagued with intestinal parasites and a skin infection. But Dr. Traylor says his emaciation captured the most attention.
"Whenever we look and assess dogs, as far as are they too skinny or too heavy, there's a nice little chart," said Dr. Traylor. "It's on a scale of one to nine. Five is ideal, where you have a lot of muscling over the back but they're not obese. One is very very thing or emaciated, and nine is the chunky monkey, the big obese dog. He was about a one on the scale to nine when he came in."
Food is slowly being introduced to Rocky, because too much food at once can cause more problems.
"He's doing better," said Dr. Traylor. "He's eating, but he's still got a long way to go."
For now, his prognosis is great. Dr. Traylor says Rocky is a fighter even though he's not completely out of the woods. But Rocky serves as a face for many other animals neglected or mistreated daily.
"This is one of the things that a lot of people don't understand, you really need to take care of your animals," said Dr. Traylor. "This is a pretty classic example of somebody actually neglecting him."
"Please spay and neuter your pets," said Williams. "Take good care of them, especially in this heat, please don't leave your dogs out."
Rocky should be able to go to his foster home by the end of the week. He'll stay there for at least a month before he can be adopted. For more information on adopting Rocky or any other dogs through 4 Paws Society visit the Links page.