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Dog Trapped In Outdoor Pen For Weeks After Owner’s Death

Written by: Molly Weinfurter
Molly Weinfurter is a writer for iHeartDogs, and she’s passionate about helping animals in need. She volunteers for Bailing Out Benji and a local dog rescue.Read more
| Published on June 24, 2022

Most dogs love being outside, but not when they have no choice but to stay put. A German Shepherd named Gunner was enclosed in a pen in his human’s yard, but then, his 64-year-old owner died suddenly when no one was around. Gunner was trapped outside with no one to give him his basic needs.

Gunner’s dad was dead for close to a month by the time someone found him. The exhausted dog miraculously survived that whole time, but he was on the brink of death when rescuers saved him. Luckily, animal lovers did everything they could to give this brave canine a second chance at life.

German Shepherd rescued

Growing Weaker Every Day

Gunner had limited resources in his large pen outside, but he found ways to survive when he realized his human was gone. He drank rainwater and got into a food container he could reach. But he kept getting weaker and skinnier until he couldn’t stand on his own.

“His muscles have wasted away to the point where he can barely stand, and he is covered with thousands of ticks and fleas,” the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office wrote after finding Gunner.

German Shepherd bath

Someone called deputies to the home weeks after Gunner’s owner died. They found the 64-year-old man’s remains in the house and Gunner near death outside. Officials guessed that the man had been dead for about a month. So, Gunner had been alone for weeks without human contact.

The sheriff’s department reached out to the Bella SPCA. Vets guessed that Gunner only had hours to live, but they got to work on his medical care anyway.

German Shepherd receiving medical care

Gunner Has a Miracle Recovery!

Gunner spent over a month at the Bella SPCA, gaining his strength back. He slowly gained weight and built his muscle back up. Many dog lovers donated money to his medical care, raising enough to cover his treatment at the Woodlake Animal Hospital. After weeks of care, he looks like a much happier and healthier dog!

After finding out about Gunner’s owner’s death, some extended family members offered to adopt him. One of his new family members is the niece of Gunner’s late owner, and she was in tears after reuniting with Gunner. In a video of Gunner’s adoption day, she thanked everyone who donated and supported Gunner along the way.

RELATED: After Owner Dies In A Crash, Firefighters Go Above & Beyond To Help His Dog

German Shepherd recovered and adopted

“The family is grieving the death of a loved one & we are so sorry for this tragic loss. Gunner has been a bright spot for them, as evidenced by our meeting today,” Bella SPCA wrote on Facebook. “We can assure you they love Gunner & are going to give him the best care. They are immensely thankful to all of the organizations, donors, & supporters that stepped in to help.”

Gunner is now getting comfortable in his new home in Texas. He has a canine sibling that he’s already falling in love with. Gunner and his new family members will all need more time to mourn the loss of their loved one, but at least they can now comfort each other.

Watch Gunner’s Adoption Video Here:

Featured Image: Facebook

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