A 6-month-old puppy was rescued from a sewer in Detroit, dehydrated, emaciated and suffering from demodicosis, a skin disease caused by a small mite, according to the Michigan Humane Society.
The puppy, which was named Leo, was found on Tuesday afternoon by a passerby walking her pet who heard the dog’s yelps from a nearby alley. The prognosis of the dog, believed to be a Shepherd mix, is guarded. “We don’t know how long he was down there or exactly how he got there,” said Chris Ouwerkerk, the MHS rescue driver who came to the puppy’s aid.
“You can see every rib. He obviously hadn’t eaten in days or weeks. He’s not in great shape, but he was definitely happy to be out of there, and we’re glad a kind person contacted us in time.” MHS rescue personnel who responded to the scene found an open manhole cover and the dog trapped several feet down at the bottom of the sewer. Leo is being held as a stray animal for four days, in accordance with state law, at the MHS Detroit Center for Animal Care.
Though Leo looks to be a medium-sized dog and is 6 months old, he weighs just 11 pounds. Officials said he is suffering from a weakened immune system as result of his emaciation and dehydration, placing him at high risk for diseases like parvovirus or a serious infection. “The MHS veterinary team will continue to care for and monitor Leo’s condition as he gains weight and hopefully recovers from his ordeal,” a spokesman said. “However, Leo’s condition is very serious and will require significant medical care over the coming weeks.”