LIFE

Family Adopts Emaciated Rescue Dog, Then His Pit Bull Sisters Help Him Recover

by Emerald Pellot
Emerald Pellot graduated summa cum laude from New York University with a degree in Writing & Popular Culture. She worked as Senior Editor of College Candy for 2 years, covering feminism, popular culture, and college life before joining LittleThings in 2015. Based in New York City, Emerald covers a wide range of topics from human interest pieces to celebrity news.

Just a few months ago, a passerby noticed something moving in a snowy vacant lot. It was almost impossible to believe.

The tiny puppy’s fur was as fair as the snow falling all around him. Just 5 months old, the baby was emaciated and stuck there, in the freezing, blistering cold.

The observer immediately called for help. When rescuers arrived, they couldn’t believe their eyes. At his age, the dog should have already weighed around 35 pounds.

“He was 13 pounds, basically a little skeleton,” said Dan Rossi, the executive director of the Animal Rescue League. “His body temperature was really low.

We weren’t sure, even that day, if he was going to make it or not.”

The staff named the puppy Valentino, because he was discovered over Valentine’s Day weekend. Unsure if he would make it, they took Valentino in anyway. The rescue team treated his infected paw and nourished his body.

Soon, Valentino went off with his foster parents: the Clifford family. The recovering dog’s mood was immediately changed. He snuggled in between their two rescue pit bulls, right by the fireplace.

It was a loving warmth that the dog who’d nearly died of hypothermia truly needed. Not long after, the Clifford family decided to make things official and adopt Valentino.

“He’s just been loving,” says Shane Clifford. “When people hold him, he’s licking them, and he’s just… a happy dog. He’s spoiled rotten, but he deserves it after what’s happened to him.”

Warning: Some viewers may find images in this video graphic. 

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