Duke is an English Setter that served as a hunting dog, like many other dogs in Greece and around the world. The English Setter is a hard-working, intelligent, affectionate, and energetic breed, which attracts many hunters to own them.Unfortunately, like many other hunting dogs, when he was no longer suitable for the sport, Duke’s new reality became the ball and chain.
He was left to starve and die in a muddy yard, only being able to move around a few feet, circling the metal post he was bound to.So the horror began. Duke started to lose weight, became ill, and was no longer his owner’s faithful companion. He was now a burden, and his life would have ended very soon, chained in a muddy yard, with no food, water, or affection.
Luckily for Duke, ZEIL came to his rescue. This organization helps abandoned and abused animals. When they got Duke, he weighed under 20 pounds, which is less than half of the average weight of an English Setter. His muscles had atrophied, so he could barely lift his head due to the weight of his chains.
The compassionate staff of ZEIL sees stories like this every day. Worn-out hunting dogs get abandoned, tied up, and left to die. Or even worse, sometimes the hunters would shoot them when they are no longer useful for hunting. ZEIL wouldn’t let this happen to Duke.
They took him from the muddy yard, freed from his chains, and took him to the vet. They gave him a proper health exam and treatment for heartworms. Finally, someone was taking care of Duke the way he deserved.
As he got better and stronger, Duke started running around freely, with the sole purpose of having fun. He finally got the care and the love he so much deserves.
It was the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the life of Duke. A former hunting dog, chained and left to die when he was no longer useful to his owner. Now, he got his second chance. He became a happy, gentle, loving dog again.
Once the English Setter was healthy enough, ZEIL found him a permanent family. His people came all the way from Denmark to Athens to meet him and take him back home.
With a new life and a new family also came a new name – Charlie. Charlie could now forget the horrors of being chained and starved. He also got a couple of new doggie siblings and a newly discovered freedom to roll around in soft, fresh grass any time he wants.
With yummy, nutritious food, and lots of affection, Charlie has been transformed. His only task now is to be a dog – the loving, playful family pet. He doesn’t have to hunt anymore, and his family loves him for who he is, not what he does for them.
That’s the story of how a former hunting dog named Duke went from the verge of death to a new, loving home and became Charlie, the beloved family pet.
But what about all the other ‘Dukes’ in Greece and beyond? There are so many of them that most of their stories go unnoticed. They are left to die in grim conditions. Let’s be their advocates.