'Practically dead,' starving dog rescued from South LA street

SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A starving dog in South Los Angeles was left to die on the street, but a rescue organization is hoping to give her a second chance at life.

She weighed only 26 pounds when she was found on Aug. 1 -- about half the amount a dog her size should weigh.

"So many people walked by her. The vet when she saw her said she was practically dead, but people just walked by," said Alicia Featherstone, a volunteer for Ghetto Rescue.

After several days, neighborhood kids tried to give her food and waved down a police officer who contacted Ghetto Rescue.

The rescue named her Spirit Golden Heart because of the heart-shaped spot on her back and her will to survive.

"When you look at her, as emaciated as she is and how much she's hurting and how hungry she is, she is still so sweet. She looks up at you with those eyes and you know she wants to fight," Featherstone said.

Moved by her story, a local VCA Animal Hospital is giving Spirit specialty care and waiving a lot of the fees. She has since gained five pounds, but doctors say she is not out of the woods yet.

"She started to rebound initially and she's taken some steps backward. We just want to help her out," said Dr. Mark Hiebert, medical director for VCA Animal Hospital.

"Whether it's a dog or someone's child, the homeless, people tend to get a bit blinded by things," Hiebert said.

Spirit's care is being paid for by Ghetto Rescue's emergency fund. To donate, visit ghettorescueffoundation.org.
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