When Sandy Williams, director of the Tunica Humane Society, got a call about an abandoned dog, she wasn’t sure who she would find. A local man had noticed the dog, Wilbur, whose family had moved and left him behind, and knew he needed help.
“He had stopped to feed him a couple of times but was very, very concerned for him,” Williams told The Dodo. “He had been alone at the property for weeks, searching the surrounding fields for food to survive.”
When Williams arrived at Wilbur’s former home, she noticed a “Beware of the dog” sign posted out front. She proceeded with caution — until she saw the brokenhearted dog the sign was talking about.
“When I arrived, Wilbur slowly came out from under the porch,” Williams said. “I was shocked to see his condition. Every rib on his body was showing. His face was literally sunk in from going so long without food and water. What I remember most was his tear-stained face. You could see so much hurt and confusion in his sad eyes. He looked like he was crying.”
Poor Wilbur was terrified and confused, unsure of whether or not he could trust his rescuer. He kept his distance for a while until his hunger won out over his fear, and he slowly approached Williams to accept the food she was offering him. She was able to get him leashed and safely into her car, then sped off toward the vet’s office to get him checked out and taken care of.
The vet checked Wilbur over, and everyone who met him that day was heartbroken for him. He was starving, suffering from potential trauma and had heartworms, but somehow, he was still going. As the people around him showed him nothing but love and care, Wilbur finally started to relax.
“At the vet’s office, I saw a flicker of hope in Wilbur’s eyes,” Williams said. “Even though he was terrified of everyone, he responded with a tiny wag of his tail. The greatest moment in the world for a rescuer. That moment when they realize you are only there to help.”
Williams and her team at the Tunica Humane Society posted about Wilbur’s plight, and people from all over were touched by the sweet dog with tears in his eyes. People from across the country offered to foster and adopt him, but luckily his rescuers were able to find a fantastic local family to adopt him and show him the love he’d never had before.
“He came around to everyone so quickly, once he realized he wasn’t going to be mistreated any longer,” Williams said. “Wilbur has been adopted by an amazing, loving family. They have four other big dogs, and Wilbur went right into their home like he had been there always. [He has] stolen every heart in the home and everyone that meets him.”