Branford dog nearly starved to death gets round-the-clock care

"Hope" recovering at the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter in Branford (WTNH / Noelle Gardner)


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“Hope” begins her long road to recovery at the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter in Branford (Photo courtesy of the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter)

BRANFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– It’s one of the worst cases of animal cruelty the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter has ever seen. A lab mix was found nearly starved to death Monday, and now the dog has a long road to recovery.

“She is all bones and her face is sunken in, said Laura Burban, director of Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter.

A good Samaritan saw the lab walking, then fall down near the Big Y plaza on route one and brought it to the animal shelter.

“She saw a dog walking and she saw it collapse and she picked it up and put it in her car and brought it here,” said Burban.

Original Story: Dog found nearly starved to death in Branford

dog1 Branford dog nearly starved to death gets round the clock care
(Photo courtesy of the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter)

Burban told News 8 that the dog that they’re now calling “Hope” was hours away from death.

“It was not able to stand, not able to walk, not able to lift its head,” said Burban.

The vet said Hope hasn’t been roaming outside for that long, because her body couldn’t survive the cold weather. Hope is just skin and bones. She has no fat on her body, and only weighs only 30 pounds.

Burban said that Hope will need to more than double her weight to return to good health.

We are guessing that she needs to put on at least 30 more pounds but it could be more than that. The vet was estimating between eight and twelve weeks that the dog was left in this condition.”

The shelter posted an update Tuesday evening saying that Hope was able to stand this afternoon. They say she looked uncomfortable, but they are feeling optimistic in seeing her stand. She is eating 1-2 tablespoons an hour and will continue receiving 24/hour care as this is a critical stage in her recovery.

dog stands Branford dog nearly starved to death gets round the clock care

“Because the dog was in the process of shutting down we are trying to bring everything back, and we don’t know what type of permanent damage the dog is going to have,” said Burban.

Hope is between 5 and 8-years-old. She isn’t spayed, and doesn’t have a microchip. Burban believes someone out there deliberately treated Hope this way.

We believe that the dog was probably kept in a room or in a crate in someone’s home because she has bed sores on her in multiple different areas.”

The shelter also said many people had been calling asking if Hope was Missy, a dog missing from Hamden since the summer. The shelter says Hope is not Missy because Hope has white on her chest, on her left front paw and on her chin that Missy did not have.dog3 Branford dog nearly starved to death gets round the clock care

Animal lover Mary Babinski dropped off blankets to the shelter when she heard the news. She said she had to hold her emotions back as best as she could when dropping off the blankets.

“I’m trying not to be angry. I’m trying not to cry. It’s just heartbreaking,” said Babinski.

Burban has a message for pet owners.

“If you’re financially incapable of caring for it, reach out for help. Don’t leave an animal in a situation like that. They depend on us for all their necessities,” said Burban.

Tuesday, the shelter received an offer of a $2,500 reward from the Maass family for any information that leads to the arrest of whoever is responsible.

Donations can be mailed to the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter at 749 East Main Street in Branford, CT 06405. Please note that any online donation site you see is not affiliated with the shelter.

If you know anything about Hope or where she may have come from, you’re asked to call them. All information will remain confidential.