On February 20, 2017, TAF was contacted about an emaciated dog that had been found near death in the grass. It would take our friend Frank to bring him to safety. Tom needed to be carried into the ER Vet because he was too weak to stand.

He weighed in at 35 pounds and should have been more like 75. At that point we thought that his organs had already begun shutting down due to starvation and severe dehydration. For those that have asked why Tom was given a name that might not be fitting for him, we actually never gave it much thought when we walked through the front doors at the ER because we didn’t think that he was going to make it. That might sound harsh but it was the reality at the time and a form of self-preservation… sometimes seeing all of this abuse it just too much to handle in such a short period of time. It would take weeks of a slow re-feeding regimen to prevent re-feeding syndrome. If food is introduced too fast, serious and potentially fatal metabolic derangements can occur. In this time, since he was so hungry, Tom would scavenge for food nonstop when let out of his kennel. He would try to eat his blankets; towels and we even had to buy him a special mat, to sleep on, that he couldn’t eat.

In the week to come, it became more and more obvious that Tom had little human contact in his life and the world had not been kind to him… he was terrified, hand-shy, growling and just couldn't seem to settle down. Tom had zero interest in us unless we were feeding him. We offered Tom food put his leash on, to lead him in and out the door, to get him back into his room, to get his sweater on, etc. Even then, he took the food and then tried to get back to his room and away from us. He tolerated us to get what he needed to survive and then wanted to get back to the safety of his kennel.

As time went on, with the help of food and positive reinforcement, Tom learned that we were there to help him and he started to trust us. He knew that he was safe and that his meals were always coming. Once at a healthy weight Tom was neutered and introduced to a variety of dogs. He didn't love being in a large group, as he seemed overwhelmed. However, with smaller groups or one-on-one, Tom loved to play and was very happy.

Now for the good part… we are so happy to announce that Tom has found his forever home!!! Tom’s new mom and dad have rooted for him since the day he came into our care. When Tom was ready for adoption, they filled out an adoption application and reached out to us to see if they would be a good fit for Tom. In the end, the decision came down to Tom and his future brother Bear… when Tom play bowed, lay down and then stretched out on the floor in front of his tiny brother; we knew that a new family had been made. Even with such a traumatic past, Tom was able to open his heart and be happy once more… he is one of the lucky ones. A big thank you to everyone that was able to donate towards Tom’s medical care and those who kept him in their thoughts and prayers!