"Truly, he was one of the sickest dogs I’ve ever seen," L.A. dog rescuer Annie Hart of the Bill Foundation says of Gideon, a pit bull who was abandoned near the Coachella desert. Reporter Anh Do tells the story of Gideon’s rescue, rehabilitation and subsequent brush with Internet fame (the video above has been viewed more than 830,000 times so far) in The Times today:
The pit bull’s road to recovery has been long and involved after suffering from a highly resistant bacterial infection, as well as ringworm — a skin infection caused by a fungus, affecting his face, paws and nails, according to Dr. Annie Harvilicz, owner of Animal Wellness Centers in Marina del Rey, who’s been treating the pit bull.
She believes the dog contracted the illness living in a junkyard, where Hart found him, sporting deep lacerations around his neck, typical of dogs tied up over a long period.
“Some dogs who are hurt or fearful would bite or show aggression. But from the start, Gideon was the opposite. He would actually be very loving, wanting to cuddle up with you,” said Harvilicz, whose clinic has a nonprofit, the Animal Wellness Foundation, funding the dog’s medical care.
Of note about Gideon’s story: His rescuer had him scanned for a microchip (an important thing to remember if you find a lost pet!) and learned that he did indeed have one. But when the owner listed in the microchip registry was notified that he’d been found, “[t]hey told me, ‘We don’t want him anymore,’ and hung up,” Hart recalls.
While Gideon has thousands of fans, he doesn’t yet have a permanent home. He’s currently in foster care and will be ready to be adopted once he’s fully recovered.