The lumberjack discovered the cage in a wood in Leicester, Massachusetts. It had been left sitting in a clearing, with a bag of food beside it and a single can of dog food on top. But when the lumberjack looked inside, he found a puppy in a very distressing condition.
It’s thought that the animal had reportedly been discarded in the woods a whole two days before being discovered, and it probably hadn’t eaten a thing since. What’s more, the little animal had been bitten by bugs and didn’t appear to have any access to water, either.
The lumberjack took the dog out of the cage and led him to the roadside. The pup had a collar, but there were no identifying tags on it. He did, however, have a leash. And so the worker used it to tie the pooch up in a shaded area, hoping the owner would come back and collect it.
But the deserted puppy stayed tied up by the roadside until two teen rescuers happened upon it by chance. Sam Rice, 13, and his friend Brady Thebeau, 14, were cycling in the area when they spotted the forlorn pooch.
Thebeau told Massachusetts Live that when they saw the dog they “didn’t know what was going on.” “When we asked the person who originally found him and brought him up,” continued the teenager, “we found out that he didn’t know where he came from [and] he didn’t know the owner.”
The boys decided to take the dog to Rice’s house, where his mother Stephanie helped bathe him. Stephanie told New England Cable News, “The crate was covered in dog feces. The dog was covered in feces. [It] looked like it had cigarette burns all over the side and on his back. [And he had] goo coming from his eyes.”
After cleaning the dog, they also provided him with some much-needed food and water. The animal had most likely been locked in a cage for several days, and so it was ravenous. Sam rice told CBS Boston, “He looked kind of hungry, like really hungry. His ribs were showing.”
And it wasn’t just food that the puppy craved, but some love and affection too. Rice told Massachusetts Live, “When we found him he was whimpering a lot.” As they approached him, however, “He started wagging his tail and yipping.”
Thebeau added, “He seemed like he hadn’t had attention in a long time. That’s what brought our attention to him, to give him some love and attention, so he could get well again.” So the boys showered the dog with affection while they waited for Leicester Animal Control to collect him.
While both boys would have loved to have kept the puppy, neither could because both of them already have dogs at home. They did, however, do the honor of naming the animal, and chose to call him Brad. The name was suggested by Rice’s sister, after the actor Brad Pitt – because the little puppy was a Pitt Bull.
The two teenagers were also honored for their actions at a press conference. And not only were they rewarded for their compassion, they were also reunited with Brad. At the event Chief of Police, Jim Hurley announced, “We would like to present you with this award of excellence for coming to the rescue of this dog. Thank you very much.”
The boys and the lumberjack very possibly saved the dog’s life. Because as Hurley told Massachusetts Live, “If no one had been working that day it would have been all over for the poor animal.” The authorities are still looking for the dog’s original owner. During the press release, Hurley stated, “This is clearly a case of animal cruelty and abandonment.”
Police are asking the public to help them find the perpetrator. Indeed Hurley, who was briefly interrupted by a few bark pleas from Brad, told the press, “The Leicester Police Department and Animal Control are offering a $500 reward for information leading to the identification and successful prosecution of the individual who committed this crime.”
Anyone who thinks they may have information that could help identify that dog’s owner should contact the Leicester Police Department. This can be done by contacting the Crime Tip Hotline on (508) 892-7010 and selecting option 7, or by emailing Detective Tim Fontaine using [email protected]
Sadly, Doug Blood from Spencer Animal Control believes the dog’s traumatic ordeal could have been prevented by a simple phone call. Blood told WCVB that the owner merely had to ring Animal Control or the Police department and say, “[I’ve] got a dog and I want to surrender it.”
Leicester Animal Control is thankful that the dog was rescued before he succumbed to starvation or infection, and still had a chance of survival. Animal Control Officer Patricia Dykas told WCVB thank, thankfully, “He looked like he was in okay shape.”
The Pitt Bull is now receiving the love he needs at an animal shelter in Spencer. And Brad, who is believed to be around 3-5 months old, will soon be ready for a new home. In fact, the teens who rescued him told Mass Live that there are already people hoping to adopt him.
The boys do not understand why someone would leave a dog this way. Rice told WCVB that Brad is a “really friendly dog.” While his friend Brady said, “I find it sort of sad that someone would do that to a dog. A dog that cute especially.”
Brady also went on to tell CBS Boston, with a great smile on his face, that he and Sam were happy they were part of the puppy’s rescue team. He told interviewers, “I felt really glad that we found him and we could help him.”
As for the dog’s future, the boys wish him luck wherever he ends up. At the press conference, Thebeau said, “We hope this dog finds a great home. For the well-being of him and the owners of [their] new dog. And I hope they have joy and love throughout this dog’s life.”