Emaciated Rescue Dog Who Pulled Global Heartstrings Has Passed Away

Shelter workers at Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control aren’t strangers to animal neglect and abuse. But they were still deeply affected by the heartbreaking story of “Skinny Dog,” a young Beagle or Brittney mix dumped behind a former Target in Fort Wayne, Indiana. By the time rescuers found him, the starving dog was so weak and emaciated he couldn’t even walk.

Veterinarians raced to give the dog emergency care, and — for a while — the pup responded well to treatment. Soon the dog was eating and growing stronger. For a time, it looked like Skinny Dog, as he was lovingly known to caretakers — as well as his growing network of social media supporters — might survive this terrifying ordeal.

For about a week, Skinny Dog appeared to be getting better, amazing staff with his bravery. Then the rescued dog stopped eating again, alerting staff to the fact that something was terribly wrong.


After a battery of tests, shelter workers found the dog’s red blood cells were alarmingly low. This led rescuers to give Skinny Dog a blood transfusion. This alarming twist left the dog’s followers nervously awaited an update on his condition.

Now shelter workers have announced that Skinny Dog’s blood transfusion wasn’t successful. This left them with no choice but to put the long-suffering dog down.


“It’s with the heaviest hearts that we share our sweet guy has crossed the rainbow bridge,” Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control wrote on Facebook. “This sweet guy was such a fighter and beat all expectations we had for him when we met him just over a week ago.”

“Our medical team provided the absolute best care for him and we are so grateful and proud of their dedication, compassion, and sacrifices they made to be here to care for him around the clock,” the shelter continued. “Once he took a turn for the worst last, Thursday they knew it was bad. He received a blood transfusion Friday afternoon in hopes it would help keep him stable. Unfortunately, it wasn’t successful.”


Even so, rescuers have been heartened by the overwhelming response to Skinny Dog’s story, which led to thoughts, prayers, donations, and calls from around the world.

“Our hearts are broken, and we know so many of you are grieving his loss too,” they wrote. “Cases like this are so difficult on our staff and while we aren’t able to share most of them with you because of the nature of the investigations, we are so grateful for all the words of encouragement we’ve received over the past several days,” Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control continued. “You remind us of the good in the world.”

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