On a cold day in January 2015, Bret Winingar and his son, Zach, went out for a casual motorcycle ride through the countryside of Little Rock, Arkansas.
Suddenly, the pair spotted an animal crate hidden behind some weeds, off to the side of the road. Something told them to stop their bikes and take a closer look.
Bret and Zach noticed the top of the carrier had been chewed straight through at the top — as if whatever was inside had been trying desperately to escape.
Nothing prepared them for what they were about to discover…
On a nice day in January 2015, Bret Winingar and his son took their motorcycles out on the open road.
As the father and son passed through a rural area east of Little Rock, Arkansas, they noticed a crate sitting in the weeds near the road.
Something told them to stop their bikes and inspect the crate.
What they found inside was equally terrible as it was life-changing.
Bret and Zach noticed the top of the carrier had been chewed straight through at the top, as if whatever was inside was trying desperately to escape.
The pair unlocked the crate… and out wobbled a large black dog who was nothing but skin and bones.
The crate was covered in the dog’s waste, and she smelled “so strongly of death that we couldn’t stand to be downwind, her white feet stained brown from standing hunched in her own feces.”
This poor dog had been abandoned for God knows how long. She had abrasions all over her body — contact sores from being trapped inside the plastic coffin.
Since they arrived on bikes, the pair had no choice but to leave the dog while they rushed home to grab Zach’s truck and some food… hoping she’d still be in the field when they returned.
She was still there, waiting.
“I was sure that we were too late,” Bret wrote on his blog. “But then I heard an almost inaudible growl, and I thought, ‘If you’ve got enough strength to growl, you’ve got enough strength to live,’ and we got her loaded up into the back seat of Zach’s truck and headed home.”
They named the grateful dog “Charlie Bravo,” a nod to the Honda CB motorcycles they rode on that fateful day.
After a much-needed bath, Bret and his family rushed Charlie to the veterinarian.
Charlie’s nails had grown so long, they had grown back into her paws.
It was so painful, she could barely walk.
Doctors estimated Charlie was about 8 months old when she was rescued.
Bret had no intention of adopting Charlie, since he already owned multiple dogs.
But as Charlie recovered and her incredible personality emerged, Bret and his family fell in love and couldn’t bare to part with her.
Facebook / Charlie Bravo - The Motorcycle Rescue Dog Story
“Breaking down limits, the story of Charlie’s crate has left a lasting mark in more ways than one,” Bret says.
“Charlie was abandoned in her crate, skin over bones when we found her. To us, that crate is an analogy for every person that lives in a self-imposed prison.”
“That could be a dead-end job, an abusive relationship, chemical or alcohol addiction, or the most confining crate of all, the fear of the unknown.
Charlie is beautiful and happy and blossoming today. She reminds us that with a little help, we can do that too.”
When Charlie’s story was posted on Facebook, the Winingar family received a flood of donations to help pay for her medical bills.
The donations piled up so high, the family donated the leftover funds to local animal shelters!
Charlie will never be alone or neglected again.
Please SHARE Charlie’s incredible journey with your friends on Facebook, and help spread the power of animal rescue.