Teak, a husky puppy, has spent the first months of his life in rough shape.
The half-starved white puppy was found in a garbage bag in a dumpster when he was just 2 months old.
Rescuers say they think he was likely tossed away because of his pronounced overbite, which is considered a defect by breeders.
Teak, who has bright blue eyes, is now 5 months old, but weighs only 7 pounds.
“A normal 5-month-old husky puppy would weigh 25 or 30 pounds,” said Erin Turner, the president of Stepping Stones Canine Rescue, which is taking care of Teak. “Pictures don’t really show how poor his condition is. Every bone, every rib is sticking out and you can see his muscles atrophied.”
Stepping Stones has been posting updates on Teak’s condition on social media and the little puppy has gained quite a following.
The dumpster were he found is near an apartment complex. People who lived at an apartment complex rescued Teak after they heard him whimpering.
He lived with a family at the complex briefly but continued to deteriorate, getting skinnier by the day.
He was eventually turned over to Stepping Stones on April 3, where he is in relatively stable condition after being sick all weekend.
“Quite honestly, his prognosis is still unknown, and we don’t know whether there will be long term damage,” Turner said. “He plays with my heart; his condition changes a lot. It’s a wait-and-see game at this point.”
Teak, who appears to be a purebred Siberian husky , has been at a veterinarian’s office since last week, where he has been given IV fluids. He is anemic and has low blood sugar after days of not being able to eat.
The vet’s office is monitoring his blood work and hoping to see progress in his condition, lest more drastic measures be taken, Turner said.
“If he turns for the worst, we’ll have to look at more aggressive options, like exploratory surgery, although he’s not strong enough yet,” she said. “Right now, he’s on an upswing. We named him ‘Teak’ for his strength and durability.”
Teak wood is used for making boats, furniture, and other things that require resistance to the elements — a fitting name for a resilient puppy who has defied death on many occasions.
When Teak gets healthier, he’ll be put into a foster home until someone who would be a good match with him can be found.
The organization has heard from people interested in adopting Teak, but it’s still early in the process, Turner said.
Sometimes dogs that have undergone starvation can develop food-guarding behaviors, she said, and expensive medical care may be required down the line.
“We want to make sure we place him with someone who’s in it for the long haul,” Turner said. “Our goal in placing animals is to find them a good match with an optimum chance for success in the long run.”