An animal rescue group in Portugal posted a video showing the moment a dog was rescued after being tied to a tree.
The dog, which appears to be emaciated, was spotted by bicyclists in an undisclosed location. Spanish rescue group Asociacion Animalista Libera posted the video to its Facebook page in mid-December. It’s not clear when the rescue took place.
Hace falta ser muy mala persona para abandonar así a un animal indefenso, con una cuerda que no le permitía ni tumbarse 🐶⛓️Tuvo la enorme suerte de que un grupo de ciclistas lo encontró y decidió rescatarlo 😍 ¡Mil gracias!📹 Nuno Rocha / Portugal
Posted by Asociación Animalista Libera on Sunday, December 9, 2018
The group suggested the animal was left to die in the forest.
“It takes a very bad person to leave a defenseless animal like that … with a rope that would not allow [it] to lie down,” the post read. The dog “was very lucky that a group of cyclists found him and decided to rescue him,” it said, according to a Spanish to English translation before adding, “A thousand thanks!”
In the video, the dog apparently was tied very close to the tree and its ribs are seen sticking out. The bicyclists then were able to cut it free before giving it some food. It’s not clear what happened to the animal after the video.
Other details about the dog rescue are not clear.
The website DogHealth.com says that dogs that are underweight have visible rib “bones protruding and do not feel a small amount of muscle/fat over them when you run your hands along your dog’s sides.”
It adds, “When looking at the base of the tail you see bones sticking out and do not feel a small layer of fat/muscle covering the base when you run your hands along it,” the dog might be underweight. And when looking at the spine from above, if you “see bones protruding and do not feel a small layer of fat/muscle covering the spine when you run your hands along your dog’s back,” that means the dog is emaciated and needs to gain weight, the website states.
According to the BBC, Portuguese law bans keeping dogs chained permanently. Quebr’a Corrente, an animal welfare organization, said that it’s “still often the case in our country.”
Poor families keep their animals chained up in backyards because they can’t care for them, the BBC reported. “This doesn’t mean the owners don’t love their animals, so a philosophy of understanding without judging underpins all our actions,” Tania Mesquita, of the group, added.
Quebr’a Corrente is now operating around Portugal after getting donations from “crowdfunding” websites to get secure fencing for dogs. Sixty volunteers have put up fencing for 26 dogs and rescued six in need of medical care, the BBC reported.