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Starving dog left to die at abandoned Lower Mainland doggy daycare finds forever home

Gator the 6-year-old Briard was tragically found alongside another dog, who had already passed away by the time rescuers came.

A Briard dog sits in the arms of his new owners, a woman and man both wearing face masks looking at the camera
Gator with his new owners, Sheri and Rob (Photo: BC SPCA)

A dog who was left to die at an abandoned doggy daycare centre in the Lower Mainland has finally found a forever home after being discovered starving and skeletal by charity officers.


Gator, a 6-year-old Briard, was found covered in urine and feces in a kennel at the centre in conditions described as “beyond horrendous” by BC SPCA officers, who added “he would not have survived another day if he was not found when he was”.


Tragically, Gator was also found with another dog, who had already passed away by the time help had arrived.


Due to an ongoing BC SPCA investigation at the time, details of the daycare centre were not able to be shared. OMD! has reached out to the charity for an update on its investigation.


As well as having to administer IV fluids for rehydration, veterinary staff also trimmed more than 4kgs of matted fur and feces off his body, revealing his malnourished frame.


After being neglected for so long, vets discovered Gator had several medical issues, including an abscessed ear, grade 4 oral disease and was so weak he required pain medication to be able to walk.

Two photos side by side of the same dog, one before with matted fur and the second photo showing the dog after being groomed, showing his skeletal frame.
Gator during his ordeal and shortly after his rescue (Photo: BC SPCA)

After 4 weeks of intensive treatment, Gator moved in with a foster family, who simply couldn't let him go after falling in love with the scruffy pooch.


Sheri, Gator's new guardian, said: “It took Gator awhile to get used to having the freedom of the whole house and being able to roam freely at night. But he is finally enjoying his chair by the window and the abundance of dog beds he has to choose from when he is ready to take a nap or go to sleep.”


Sheri's partner Rob also makes sure that the pooch receives lots of cuddles and reassurance at bedtime.


In a real tale of rags to riches, Gator now weighs a healthy 93 lbs - a far cry from the skeletal frame that he was rescued in - and is a big fan of car rides, walks and small hikes.


His new owners add that he loves chasing other dogs at the dog park - and has been known for his "magical" skills of making pieces of chicken and steak disappear from the kitchen counters.


A Briard dog is shown amongst ferns and forest floor while on a leash
A now healthy Gator loves playing outside with other dogs and digging holes in the garden (Photo: BC SPCA)

He also loves racing around in his new garden and digging holes, but is still a little wary of being groomed and bathed after having 4kg of matted fur removed - but is fine as long as treats are involved.


A BC SPCA spokesperson added: "Gator had a great time at his first Thanksgiving at grandma’s house and Sheri looks forward to making more fabulous memories with him. She says she is grateful to everyone who helped to save Gator’s life so that he could become a member of their family."


Jodi Dunlop, manager of the BC SPCA in Vancouver, said: “You would think that Gator would be changed by what happened to him, but he’s a total sweetie. He is so grateful to be saved and absolutely loves people and attention. He has a zest for life and the will to live!”



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