Chihuahua gets second chance at life after being neglected

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. —One dog is getting a second chance at life, after experiencing neglect.

Meet Lazarus the Chihuahua. He’s just one of the many examples of animal neglect across southern Oregon. Lazarus was found during a traffic stop when the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office discovered a bag of what they thought were two dead dogs inside the car.

“They had attempted to shoot him in the head and he survived, he was severely emaciated he does have severe dental disease, severe swelling in his mouth, he did have evidence of a bullet-type injury,” said Kim Casey with Jackson County Animal Services.

Now Lazarus is getting the support he needs from Jackson County Animal Services. He’s gone through a dental procedure and had the bullet removed from his head, but he’ll still have some medical problems because of the neglect.

“I think he’s a pretty tough dog, he was able to survive that initial incident and we are hopeful that he is on his way to recovery,” said Casey.

Casey says the organization has seen an increase in animals being surrendered for multiple reasons. And more strays are coming into her facility in poor condition.

“Attributing factors we’ve seen are increased cost for veterinary care and lack of access to veterinary care,” said Casey.

In Jackson County, there were 32 animals neglected at a Rogue River home last month.  JCSO found 10 dogs, 6 cats, 6 pigeons, and 10 exotic birds at the property along the 6600 block of East Evans Creek Road.

Josephine County is experiencing the same thing. Law enforcement recovered 13 malnourished dogs, from Paw-sitive K-9 solutions in September.

“As we see these things in the shelter they are big indicators of bigger issues going on in the community and people’s ability to care for animals,” said Casey.

For Lazarus, Casey is hopeful he’s on the road to recovery and that one day, he can find the loving home he deserves. Casey says there’s a meaning behind his name, after all.

“I decided to name him Lazarus, just had a biblical meaning with Lazarus and he rose from the dead and so we just felt that was an appropriate homage,” said Casey.

Casey recommends making sure you can take care of an animal before deciding to take one in. If you are interested in helping a dog find its forever home, visit Jackson County Animal Services website.

NBC5 News Reporter Jenna King is a Burbank native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at the U of O, she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through interning with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors, or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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