In June 2019, an animal control officer in Mississippi received a call about a little puppy who needed help. The caller said the puppy was sitting on the side of the road in a recliner next to a broken TV. The officer, Sharon Norton, rushed over to help the poor puppy.
The puppy was sitting completely still, and he was clearly starving—all of his ribs were visible.
Norton guessed that the four-month-old puppy had been abandoned by his former owners, and he was waiting for them to come back. That’s why he hadn’t left the chair.
“That poor baby; he’d been a good four or five days without food,” Norton told Today. “I mean, he was skinny.”
Norton slowly approached the puppy, who was visibly nervous. He also refused to leave the chair.
“He was just too scared because it was a strange area,” she said. “It’s a deserted road. On both sides it was nothing but woods.”
Norton gave the hungry dog a handful of treats, and the dog gratefully ate them. Once Norton had earned the puppy’s trust, she picked him up. As Norton carried him to her truck, she felt his tail thumping against her back. Her heart broke—despite everything he had been through, the puppy still had so much love inside of him.
Norton gave the dog a bath and some more food, and then she brought him over to the Brookhaven Animal Rescue League. She decided to name him La-Z-Boy Gaston after the chair and road where she found him.
Norton shared photos of the puppy on Facebook, and her post went viral. Everyone was touched by the puppy’s story.
“To the person that dumped this chair, your puppy was waiting for you to come back, slowly starving to death because it was afraid to leave the chair to find food. shame on you for doing this to this puppy.. but one day Karma will meet up with you,” Norton wrote on Facebook.
Little La-Z-Boy Gaston is doing well at Brookhaven Animal Rescue League! The puppy received the medical care he needed, and he’s starting to gain weight. Once the puppy is healthy, Brookhaven will put him up for adoption. A few local families have already expressed interest in adopting the puppy.
The story also attracted the attention of the La-Z-Boy company. The company donated money to Brookhaven, and they also donated 50 beds to shelter in La-Z-Boy Gaston’s honor.
Norton hopes this story will help show people why it’s never okay to abandon their pet. If they can’t care for their pet, they should bring them to a shelter.
“I’m seeing this every day. I used to be a really strong-headed person when I started this job. But seven years of (witnessing) this cruelty — dumping dogs — it just breaks you down,” Norton said.
La-Z-Boy Gaston hasn’t had an easy life, but he’ll soon be in a wonderful forever home with a family who loves him. We’re so glad this puppy’s story has a happy ending.
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