Rescued Dog Was Supposed To Be Put Down — But Then Vet Tech Hugged Him

 "Even though he was in so much pain, he looked up at me and licked my face... I had to do something to save his life."

In 2013, Pacino was found alone in the bedroom of an abandoned house in Camden, New Jersey. He had severe wounds all over his body, and the animal control authorities who discovered him took him to the nearest vet clinic to check his health. Things didn't look good for Pacino, but fortunately, a woman called Brittany Elder was working as a vet tech that day. And the moment she met Pacino, both his and her lives were permanently transformed.

The policemen who brought Pacino in warned the veterinary staff that he was in "in horrible state" and "extremely hostile to handle," but Elder saw right through it. “They put him in a large container when they carried him inside the treatment room,” Elder told The Dodo. “When I opened the crate, he was cowering in the back and refusing to come out, but I could see he was all bleeding and severely injured. Because he couldn't stand, they threw him out of the crate and he fell onto my lap. He was trembling and terrified. He had a cold, thin, and unclean body.”


The vet and the animal control officers began debating Pacino's position as Elder held him. Based on his condition and where he was found, they suspected that he had been used as a bait for dog fighting. His wounds were so serious that treatment would be prohibitively expensive. So the vet and the animal control officer concluded that euthanizing Pacino was the best option — but as she held and comforted him, Elder realized there was no way she was going to let that happen.


“At one point, despite his anguish, he looked up at me and licked my face,” Elder recollected. “At that point, I realized that this dog was not ‘overly aggressive,' and that I needed to do something to save his life. I chose to take full financial responsibility for him, raise him to restore his health, and then deal with the adoption. I just need to do something.


Elder assumed all the responsibilities of Pacino and quickly arranged for his wound to be cleaned and taken care of. His injuries were so severe that they couldn't be sewn up, so the doctor implanted over a dozen drains throughout his body to prevent infection. Succeeding his surgery, Elder, and her partner began making plans to bring Pacino home with them.He was still terrified and afraid of everything, and they had no idea how he would respond to being in their home — but as soon as he arrived, they understood they had nothing to fear.


Pacino was very nervous during the first few days of his new home. He clearly showed signs of abuse in his previous life. He soon realized that he could trust Elder and her lover, and he did not hesitate to allow them to treat his wounds or give him medicine. He quickly established contact with them, and seemed to understand quickly that they loved him and only wanted to help him recover.“He trusted us so much that he let us do anything we needed to do to help him,” Elder explained.


While the couple knew nothing about Pacino's past, it was evident he hadn't had the best existence - since the poor pooch didn't knowing how to be a dog. “We basically had to teach him EVERYTHING throughout his recovery,” Elders said. “We had to potty train him, crate train him, teach him how to walk on a leash, get him on a feeding schedule, show him what toys were, and generally show him how to be a normal dog.” The more time Pacino spent in his new house, the more he start to come out of his shell, and before long, he was the nicest, silliest dog around, only wanting to be around the people he loved as much as possible. His wounds finally healed into scars, and his emotional wounds also appeared to heal. At first, Elder had intended to foster Pacino for a time before finding him a permanent home, but it quickly became evident that she couldn't let him go.


“One thing that sticks out in my mind the most is that one of my friends gave him a tiny care package with a large red squeaky ball,” Elder recollected. “I believe that was the first time he had ever seen a toy, because he didn't know what to do with it at first. He became obsessed with it after a few throws, and that's when I saw his first smile! He was clumsy and goofy. and, in general, quite pleasant and willing to please. It was evident to us that we were his family, and we couldn't bear the thought of losing him.”


Pacino has been with his family for five years now, and they all enjoy every minute of it. Although he is still wary of other dogs due to his experience as a decoy dog, he admires every baby, child and adult he meets, and can't get enough of meeting new folks and playing with them. He enjoys meals and spending time with his owners, and his new mom is grateful that she held him in the vet's office that day and realized he was predestined to be her dog. On Instagram, you can keep up with Pacino and all of his adventures.

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