This forgotten dog endured starvation, frostbite, confinement, and abuse; but a last-minute rescue gave him an amazing second chance at life. Meet Benji, the abused abandoned pit bull mix left to starve to death on a concrete floor.
South African rescue organization Sidewalk Specials found him tied up by a 2-foot length of chain by owners who “forgot” to feed him. The moment the rescuers approached marked the instant that Benji’s heartbreaking life would take an abrupt turn.
When his rescuer approached the dog and put her hand to his face, Benji barely raises his head to sniff it. Showing almost no interest, he looked defeated and resigned. He had no trust left for humans.
When the rescuer put a leash around his neck, he walked behind her slowly but willingly. He stopped in his tracks when he saw the exit outside. You'll see in the video below that the camera shows his body covered in wounds, and it is revealed that these wounds were inflicted by people throwing rocks at him.
Benji was terrified to proceed and face more abuse.
As soon as volunteers place a bowl of food on the ground, Benji changes his mind. He begins to eat, but looks up after a moment. The video states, “he thought it was a trick, and that he’d get kicked for eating. But he was too hungry to stop.”
The whole time, you can hear Benji (and other dogs) crying and whimpering in terror. Still, he keeps eating.
The rescuers put him in a car, where he curls up in a ball on the floor. A close-up shot shows Benji’s protruding ribcage and hip bones, accompanied by old and new flesh wounds (from the rocks and frostbite).
He is clearly still terrified, but you can also see a bit of relief on his face, too. It’s like he knows the terror is over.
Benji was rushed to Vet Point, the animal hospital in nearby Cape Town. Taken aback by the state of Benji and the other dogs, vets stayed 2 hours past closing to administer life-saving treatment. Benji can be seen eating in the hospital’s treatment room; his front leg has a cast on it, and his back legs are so weakened that he can barely stand on them.
While at the hospital, volunteers worked to earn the scared pup’s trust. Benji can be seen still shaking while hesitantly sniffing a human’s hand.
Finally, late that night, Benji was taken to his foster home. Finding a big fluffy dog bed just for him, the video captions, “He was about to experience kindness for the first time.”
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The rescue video then shows Benji one week later, playing with his foster brother (a dog) and his foster mom (a human). He is a little more filled out from the food he has been eating, and plays joyfully with his toys.
The video captions state that he’s now ready for adoption, asking, “But would anybody want him?” It turns out, someone did! Benji is then shown in his new life, and he is unrecognizable. He has muscles and a smile, and you can’t see his bones anymore.
His demeanor has completely changed – he is excited, confident, and happy. He is shown gently kissing his new mom’s face and playing with his two canine brothers. He even learned to play fetch!
The tearjerker video concludes with the captions, “The vet says my tail is gonna take a while to heal ‘cus it won’t stop wagging. Sidewalk Specials says that’s a great problem to have.” And as a joyful song plays in the background exclaiming lyrics like, “that makes me happy” and “my dreams came true,” Benji is shown sitting in a car, loving his new life, with the text “My life’s one big adventure now! Thanks humans!”
Sidewalk Specials is a South African rescue organization founded by British actress Rachel Sylvester. Alarmed by the plight of the dogs she saw in South Africa, Rachel started a GoFundMe, and has developed it into a full-fledged rescue.