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article imageNeglected and abandoned Florida dog story goes viral Special

By Kristin Denault     Apr 3, 2013 in Lifestyle
Hollywood - An abandoned dog found wandering in south Florida has captured the attention and hearts of an online community of dog lovers.
On March 27, 2013 one-year old Sassy, a German Shepherd dog, was found wandering alone in Liberty City, a neighborhood in Miami, Florida.
Abandoned and weighing half what she should for a dog of her breed, size and age, a concerned member of the public brought Sassy to Miami-Dade Animal Services (MDAS).
MDAS contacted the Shepherd Help and Rescue Effort (SHARE), a local dog rescue, with an urgent plea: the dog would need to be picked up that day or she would be euthanized.
The rescue says they scrambled to find a volunteer to pick up the dog and transport her directly to the Hollywood Animal Hospital, a local urgent veterinary care facility.
The rescue then went to their Facebook group to update followers on the dog’s condition, and that’s where the story went viral.
When SHARE posted an update on their Facebook page on March 27, 2013 indicating that Sassy was in critical condition and weighing only 33 lbs., an outpouring of comments started flooding the page.
The group says Sassy and her story has put SHARE on the map. Within the last week, the group’s Facebook page has increased more than five times and traffic to their website has grown considerably.
David Cohen, SHARE’s volunteer & event coordinator, said in an email interview, "last week…we were a small rescue with 2,500 followers on Facebook and a website that got about 40 to 50 hits a day. Now we have over 14,000 followers on Facebook and on April 2nd, our website had 1,800 hits with over 6,500 pages viewed".
While there are is no definitive information about where Sassy originated, unconfirmed reports suggest she may have been abandoned in a foreclosed home without food or water.
The story took a dramatic turn on March 29, 2013, when the rescue posted that Sassy had gone septic and her situation had become an emergency. “We can not have her go out like this,” posted the group in an emotional update.
Hoping for a miracle, Sassy was rushed in to emergency surgery as an online community from across the US, Canada and Europe waited for updates on her condition.
Sassy pulled through her surgery but her current condition remains guarded. A recent update says that a feeding tube was removed and she is mobile with assistance. Further blood and nutritional testing is planned in the coming days, and Sassy will remain hospitalized at the Hollywood urgent care clinic.
A recent posting by the group says, “At this point there is still no telling how long she will need specialized care, but it is going to be a long road ahead for her. Not only does she need to gain 30 plus pounds but she needs to strengthen her muscles.”
Sassy’s story received the attention of a local NBC television station that aired her story on a recent newscast.
SHARE has been in operation for about 4 years and reports they have rescued over 350 German Shepherd dogs.
Information and updates on Sassy and the SHARE group can be found on their Facebook page or rescue website at www.shepherdhelp.org.
More about Rescue dog, German shepherd, Florida
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