Abandoned puppy that was near death in DC is now on the road to recovery

A puppy on the brink of death was rescued Friday evening in Northwest D.C., and now the Humane Rescue Alliance is asking for the public’s help in finding those who abandoned him.

A 4-month-old pup now known as Darwin, was found “severely emaciated and barely responsive” around 6 p.m. Friday in the 300 block of K Street Northwest.
A 4-month-old pup now known as Darwin, was found “severely emaciated and barely responsive” around 6 p.m. Friday in the 300 block of K Street Northwest.

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A 4-month-old pup now known as Darwin, was found “severely emaciated and barely responsive” around 6 p.m. Friday in the 300 block of K Street Northwest.

A puppy on the brink of death was rescued Friday evening in Northwest D.C., and now the Humane Rescue Alliance is asking for the public’s help in finding those who abandoned him.

The 4-month-old pup, now known as Darwin, was found around 6 p.m. Friday in the 300 block of K Street Northwest near the southbound ramp of Interstate 395, just before the Third Street tunnel.

According to the HRA, Darwin was “severely emaciated and barely responsive” when he was rescued.

“We really got him just in time,” said Chris Schindler, the alliance’s vice president of field services.

The puppy was on the verge of organ failure when he was rushed to Friendship Hospital for Animals. He received emergency treatment for pneumonia, dehydration, severe emaciation and dangerously low blood pressure through antibiotics, IV fluids and a slow reintroduction of food.

Saturday morning, he had an appetite. And now, he’s eating regularly and is able to stand up and walk a little bit, but the alliance said he’s still quite weak.

It will take at least two weeks for Darwin to recover completely, Schindler said, due to his advanced emaciation.

“You have to do a slow refeeding, where you’re offering small meals throughout the day,” he explained.

The Humane Rescue Alliance is offering a $5,000 reward for any information leading to an identification, arrest and conviction in the case. In particular, it wants to hear from anyone who saw something unusual in the area where Darwin was found around 6 p.m. Friday. Call 202-723-5730 if you think you saw something.

“Depending on the information that we gather in the investigation, somebody could be facing misdemeanor or felony animal cruelty charges,” Schindler said, “and that will really depend on the information that we gather throughout the investigation.”

Schindler also reminded the public that the Humane Rescue Alliance’s Pet Help Center offers help for pet owners who are having trouble giving their pets the care they need.

“At HRA, we understand people in our community and beyond face barriers to providing care to their animal family members and that sometimes people don’t know where to turn when they need help,” the alliance said in a statement Tuesday.

Anyone who wants to help pay for Darwin’s recovery can donate to the alliance’s Ladybell Fund, which pays for emergency care for homeless animals.

WTOP’s Kristi King contributed to this report.

Jack Pointer

Jack contributes to WTOP.com when he's not working as the afternoon/evening radio writer.

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