A 1-year-old Chihuahua found sick and emaciated near the Malden Police Department in July is recovering well and on Wednesday visited police officers, the Animal Rescue League said.
The dog, named Bailey, spent a couple months recuperating at the rescue league’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center after he was found hiding in the bushes along the East Coast Greenway bike trail on July 25.
At the time, the dog weighed less than 3 pounds, his body was covered in scabs, and he was losing his fur, the animal league said. A passerby wrapped him in a blanket and took him to the police department.
The dog was brought to an animal hospital in Charlestown where he was diagnosed with a parasitic illness, indicating he had been living in unhealthy conditions. He was then taken to the rescue league for long-term care.
“He was quite literally on death’s doorstep,” said rescue league spokesman Mike DeFina said. “If he hadn’t been found in the next couple of hours, he probably would not have survived.”
Over the past two months, Bailey has gained more than a pound, his fur has started to grow back, and his skin has healed quite a bit, DeFina said. He has gained nearly double his body weight from when he arrived.
“It’s basically a slow and steady process to make sure the weight comes back on safely,” DeFina said. “He was on a special diet. When we do a re-feeding plan, it’s typically a process where we give several small meals a day.”
Bailey has also been making strides to become more social and trusting, DeFina said. When the rescue league brought him back to the police department, officers marveled at how far he had come since July.
“He was walking all around the lobby and saying hello to pretty much anyone who would come meet him. He’s full of confidence now,” DeFina said. “He was pretty scared when he came to us, but once he settled in and realized there were people around him who were caring for him and taking care of his needs, he warmed up pretty quickly.”
Bailey is living with a foster family so he can get used to a home environment and recover in peaceful and quiet conditions, DeFina said. It will be a few more weeks before he is ready to be adopted.
Police and the rescue league are still investigating the circumstances of the dog’s abandonment and encourage anyone with information to contact the rescue league at 617-426-9170 x110 and email@example.com or Malden police at 781-397-7171.
“Not only did we want to reunite Bailey with the officers at Malden PD, but it was also an opportunity to remind the public that we’re still concerned that there may be more dogs out there like Bailey who may be in danger,” DeFina said.