When a crew repossessing a sports utility vehicle Friday heard a strange noise in the back of the SUV as they drove, the last thing they expected to find was a live animal. But when they did, they likely saved the abandoned pit bull terrier’s life.
“Superior Auto here in town went to repo the vehicle, and on their way back to their dealership, they heard something in the back, and that’s when they discovered this dog was in a crate,” according to Jim Tate, director of the Clinton County Humane Societyin Indiana.
There was no telling how long the dog had been in the crate in the back of the SUV. They speculated that it had been there for quite some time, given that the bottom of the crate was filled with loose fecal matter and urine.
Photos Tate shared with the Lafayette Journal & Courier newspaper showed deplorable conditions in the crate, which the dog may not have survived much longer.
“If you’d seen the vehicle, it was nasty throughout,” Tate said.
The crew noticed the dog and stopped the car immediately, going to his aid.
“They got him out,” said Ben Pfeffer, treasurer of Paw Pals of Clinton County. “The Superior [repo company] people were really good about it. They called right away. In fact, they went over to Marsh and got some dog food for him. He ate.”
He also lapped up water as if he’d been in a desert, so it was easy to tell that he was dehydrated and starving. He’s already gained about five pounds since he was rescued.
The dog of course soon gained the nickname Repo and proved himself friendly and affectionate, loving to nuzzle against Tate.
“We don’t know how long he’d been in there,” Tate said. “The dog is pretty emaciated.”
“He just sat there, and he was about the happiest dog in the entire world that he got away from that whole situation,” Pfeffer told the newspaper. “He got out of the van and walked in here like he just lived here.”
Tate said, “The sad thing is he doesn’t know how to play.”
“He just wants somebody to pet him and get up in Jim’s lap,” Pfeffer said.
Repo’s former owners may be in trouble, however, for not taking proper care of the dog. Tate is sending paperwork for the prosecutor’s office in order to file criminal charges of animal neglect.
“We’ve been in contact with the owners. They knew what was going on,” Tate said. “They told me he was in there just overnight because they had a family emergency.”
However, Tate and Pfeffer doubted their story, since research showed that the owners weren’t allowed to have dogs in their house.
Pfeffer’s organization, Paw Pals, is prepared to pay for his medical treatments and get him ready to go off to his new home after legalities have been settled.
Obviously, many pet lovers would be clamoring to adopt Repo, but he’s already been spoken for by a member of the repossession team, who will be taking him home after he undergoes a medical checkup, deworming, and neutering.
It won’t be long before Repo is back living under a heated roof instead of the back of a van.
The Clinton County Humane Society is open every day except Wednesday or Sunday and 24/7 on petfinder.com, so the shelter hopes that Repo’s story will draw attention to the other dogs and cats waiting for homes.