Is there anything sweeter and more innocent than a dog who loves you?
Although it seems like a no-brainer that all of us would love the dogs that we’re supposed to care for, the truth is a little bit different/ While most dogs are happy at home with their loving owners, many dogs still deal with neglect and cruelty at the hands of their humans. It’s tragic to read stories where dogs were mistreated, abused or abandoned, and many of them have sad endings.
Fortunately, this story has a happy ending.
It all started when Bob Hoelter of Griffith, Indiana decided to talk a long walk to a local store.
Taking a walk was a somewhat unusual choice, given that the store was two miles away and Griffith was in the middle of a particularly cold winter. Still, Hoelter set out from his home just so he could get a little exercise. On the way there, he crossed a bridge and heard an unusual sound that stopped him right in his tracks. After a moment, he listened more closely and thought he could make out a strained, sad whimper coming from somewhere under the bridge.
Needless to say, Hoelter knew he needed to go down to investigate.
As he made his way down, it was still unclear exactly what was going on.
Hoelter spoke about his experiences in an interview with The Dodo. “I was looking at the water and the land, but I don’t see anything, but I hear it,” he said. The underside of the bridge was narrow, and Hoelter had to get down on his hands and knees with a flashlight to investigate things a little more closely. Above all, he knew he wasn’t going to give up on whatever was down there. “I got to the bottom. I finally see him!” he said.
Down at the very bottom was a terrified little puppy whose muzzle had been taped shut.
Although finding an abandoned dog all alone would be one thing, the cruelty of the tape around it’s muzzle was another.
Seeing how scared and unsafe the pup was, Hoelter sprung into action. “I just threw him in my jacket, crawled back up and started hoofing it to the animal hospital,” he said. Once he arrived at Griffith Animal Hospital, the vet techs immediately knew that they had to act quickly. After he dropped the puppy off in the capable hands of Lori Kovacich, the hospital’s manager, Hoelter went back about his business of going to the store.
While he was gone, the staff at Griffith Animal Hospital got to work.
After examining the little puppy, the staff at the hospital determined that he must’ve had his muzzle taped up for days.
It was clear that the poor dog was considerably underweight, had skin damage and needed to be brought back to a baseline of health. They also seemed to determine that the dog was only four months old. They started their process by getting him a warm bed to sleep in and by administering all kinds of antibiotics and ointments to help him feel better. Although things were going well, there was still more bad news ahead.
Once they looked closely, they realized what had happened to the puppy.
After determining that the puppy had a broken leg along with all his other ailments, they realized that the previous owner had tried to drown the dog.
It was clear that someone had taped up the puppy’s muzzle and thrown him off of the bridge, most likely in the hopes that he would fall in the river and drown. By hitting the ground and missing the water, the puppy had survived—even though he’d suffered horribly in the process. The story was so horrific that Kovacich wrote a post about it on Facebook:
“Our whole staff was without words. We try our very best to help every creature that comes our way and we have to acknowledge that someone in our area is that mean, hateful to do something like this to an innocent little pup. In my 30 years of working here, I never thought I’d see this…in real life.
He had to of been out there for a brief time. This morning I’m almost thinking he was a bait pup, waiting his turn. Then having to get rid of him quickly, they threw him out. A million things go through my mind, trying to absorb this. Bottom line, the evil person/people who is responsible will rot in hell.”
Fortunately, there was a happy ending in store for the little guy.
After seeing the post, two nearby Griffith residents who had recently lost their dog decided to head down to the hospital.
After taking a look at him, they knew that he would be a perfect new addition to their family. As an extra layer of drama to the story, Hoelter even ended up reunited with the family and the dog after his niece saw the Facebook post! Upon being reunited with the little dog, Hoelter’s heart warmed that the pup still recognized him.
“It makes me think God has a purpose for everyone,” he said. “I’m going to have to walk more often, but I sure don’t want to find more dogs under the bridge.”
Today, the pup is safe in his new home!
Although this story definitely has its tragic and disturbing elements, the end result is a happy one.
Though Hoelter just happened to be walking by that day, those circumstances ended up saving this adorable little pup’s life (and his humans have now named him Louie). Though it was just a chance encounter, it ended up having so many positive consequences for everyone who came in contact with the resilient little pup. Though he’s been through so much cruelty in the past, he’s sure tot only have love in his life from here on out.
Congratulations on your new home, Louie!
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