A rescue dog named Gus is up for a 2019 Hero Dog Award after overcoming some incredible odds.
By, 18 Apr 2019
Gus was found limping down a busy street in Houston, Texas. His head had swollen to three times its normal size, and he was obviously in a terrible state.
Gus was in a terrible state
He was taken to a nearby animal hospital, where specialists discovered the reason for the swelling. Somebody had wrapped a shoelace around Gus's neck. It was so tight that it was cutting deep into his throat. After a full examination, vets noticed some separate wounds from what looked like a pellet gun.
Speaking to ABC news, Dr Lisa Howe said:
"He moved, but very slowly. He did not have a personality. His head was so swollen and so heavy."
A veterinary surgeon removed the band from the dog's neck, and the swelling began to subside.
Thankfully, Gus went on to make a full recovery. He's now living with Marina Harrison, a volunteer at the animal hospital.
Despite his horrific injuries and cruel treatment, Gus has developed into a healthy, well-adjusted dog that's brimming with love and affection for his new family.
"He gets along great with my dogs. They all interact well and go outside together," said Marina. "Everybody loves him and he loves everybody despite his hard early months."
Gus's resilience and character is a constant source of amazement for his owner:
"I'm constantly surprised at the number of animals that are just so forgiving; their tenacity and their ability to brush it off."
And as well as finding a loving home, Gus has also received plenty of attention from the dog-loving community. His story raised awareness of the rescue centre, which helped other rescue dogs find their forever homes.
An award-winning pooch?
Gus was recently nominated for The American Humane Hero Dog Awards, an annual campaign that recognises canine heroes and the humans who helped them. Seven finalists will go on their "walkies" to Hollywood for a star-studded event where one pooch will be named the 2019 American Hero Dog.
Well, I know who's getting my vote!