A puppy’s loyalty to his owner nearly cost him his life after he was heartlessly abandoned on the side of a remote Mississippi road with only a recliner chair and television.
Since he was rescued earlier this week, the 4-month-old puppy, who was affectionately named La-Z-Boy Gatson (after the recliner and street he was found on), has been receiving proper care and love at a local veterinary clinic.
He is expected to be placed for adoption soon by the Brookhaven Animal Rescue League.
On Monday, Sharon Norris, an animal control officer with the Brookhaven Police Department, said she received a message informing her that a puppy was sitting on the side of the road by himself in a recliner, according to her post on Facebook.
After pulling up to the scene, Norris noticed the pup sitting alone in a giant brown recliner — his ribs clearly noticeable through his brown fur. Next to him, a discarded television laid face-down in the grass, while some kibble was scattered on the chair.
Norris said the puppy, whom she believed was a hound/Doberman pinscher mix, was likely too afraid to leave the chair and disobey his owner, so instead, he patiently waited while starving in the process.
“He was just too scared because it was a strange area,” she told Today. “It’s a deserted road. On both sides, it was nothing but woods.”
“That poor baby; he’d been a good four or five days without food,” she added to the outlet. “I mean, he was skinny… I felt sick to my stomach.”
Though the terrified puppy initially refused to leave the recliner, Norris said she was able to hand-feed him food, which caused him to slowly let down his guard.
The officer, who also previously worked as a veterinary technician, was then able to pick up the pup and carry him to her truck. She also helped bathe him and get him medical attention, before affectionately naming him La-Z-Boy Gatson, Today reports.
Throughout that process, Norris said she could notice how La-Z-Boy Gatson’s demeanor quickly started to change.
“He was so happy because he knew he was going to get food now,” she recalled to Today. “He was rescued and safe.”
Following his rescue on Monday, La-Z-Boy Gatson was spending time at Brookhaven City Shelter as their medical team focused on aiding him back to health, according to Norris’ Facebook post.
He was later transferred to Brookhaven Animal Rescue League but has not yet been placed for adoption. In already two days, however, several families have expressed interest in bringing La-Z-Boy Gatson home to be their newest family member, according to Today.
In the meantime, Norris is hoping that someone will recognize the recliner and report the person who heartlessly abandoned La-Z-Boy Gatson to city officials.
Though she acknowledged to Today that the person would likely only receive a small fine for illegal dumping, as dogs are considered property in Mississippi, she said she was confident that fate would work in La-Z-Boy Gatson’s favor.
“To the person that dumped this chair, your puppy was waiting for you to come back, slowly starving to death because it was afraid to leave the chair to find food,” she wrote on Facebook. “shame on you for doing this to this puppy.. but one day Karma will meet up with you.”