Abandoning our loyal companions is never acceptable, but it is especially cruel during the coldest days of winter.
These innocent beings not only have to deal with being left alone and betrayed, but they also have to brave the dangerous risk of freezing temperatures.
Horton was sadly one of those dogs, cruelly abandoned in a home during the coldest month in Kansas City and left to endure the freezing cold.
If it weren’t for the amazing rescue team, Horton wouldn’t be alive today.
A Heartbreaking Rescue Mission
On January 19, 2024, compassionate Animal Services Officers from KC Pet Project, a non-profit organization from Missouri, found Horton unresponsive and abandoned in a vacated home during the coldest part of winter.
Horton was discovered alongside another dog who, sadly, didn’t survive. While Horton’s condition was critical, there was at least a faint heartbeat, offering a glimmer of hope.
Tori Fugate, chief communications officer at KC Pet Project, told Newsweek that when Horton was discovered in the 12-degree weather, he was barely breathing, showed no eye movement, and only had a faint heartbeat.
He was promptly rushed to the shelter, where the veterinary team swiftly began efforts to revive him and work towards saving his precious little life.
“Hair dryers, blankets, and even slippers were placed on Horton to help bring his body temperature back to a normal level,” KC Pet Project wrote in their post. “Little by little we started to see signs of life.”
Eventually, the veterinary team observed a subtle eyebrow movement, sparking hope that Horton would indeed pull through and survive.
This was an incredibly challenging case for everyone involved, and the vet team was putting in every effort and resource available to save this little boy.
“From slightly blinking his eyes, to making eye contact with one of our vets as she spoke words of encouragement to him… he was showing us that he was ready and willing to fight,” they said.
Gradually, Horton regained consciousness, and despite being extremely weak, he eagerly consumed some food.
It was his first meal in such a long time…
Extreme Weather Crisis
“After he was stable enough, a vet tech carefully carried him to the floor, where he could be closely monitored for the rest of the day,” the shelter said.
Horton was still visibly weak, but the vet team was hopeful that he would eventually recover.
“Just a few days later… Horton is showing his sweet personality and enjoying the affection and care that our vet clinic is giving him. Horton is on his way to a full recovery, and we will fight for him just as he fought for his own life.”
@kcpetproject Horton was found unresponsive and abandoned in a home during the coldest part of our winter. He arrived at our shelter on January 19th when the high was expected to reach only 12 degrees after he was rescued by our Animal Service Officers. He was found with another dog who unfortunately did not make it. After being rushed to our shelter, our vet clinic team jumped into action to save Horton's precious life. Hair dryers, blankets, and even slippers were placed on Horton to help bring his body temperature back to a normal level. Little by little we started to see signs of life. From slightly blinking his eyes, to making eye contact with one of our vets as she spoke words of encouragement to him…he was showing us that he was ready and willing to fight. Before we knew it, Horton eagerly ate wet food that we provided to him showing that he was fully conscious even though he was still very weak. A vet tech carefully carried him to the floor where he could be closely monitored for the rest of the day. Just a few days later…Horton is showing his sweet personality and enjoying the affection and care that our vet clinic is giving him. Horton is on his way to a full recovery and we will fight for him just as he fought for his own life. Our Animal Services Division is pursues criminal charges at the highest level. #animalshelter #shelterdog #shelterpet #vetclinic #vetcliniclife #kansascity #animalservices ♬ Sad Scene BGM Piano Instrument(313618) – HomeMadeGarbage
Soon, Horton will move to his foster home, where he’ll focus on regaining his healthy weight, according to Fugate.
Once he’s in good health, the plan is to have him neutered and, hopefully, find him a loving forever home.
The video of his rescue mission has accumulated millions of views, so it’s expected that the rescue will have no trouble finding him a new and caring home.
“Our Animal Services Division is pursuing criminal charges at the highest level,” KC Pet Project confirmed, determined to find the person responsible for this cruel act.
Unfortunately, Horton is just one of many dogs in need of shelter and medical attention this winter. Due to the overwhelming number of abandoned animals, the shelter is dealing with an intake crisis.
According to their blog post, in January, they witnessed an astonishing 87% surge in call volume related to general neglect and abandonment.
“Every day here is a nonstop struggle at the shelter. There isn’t an end in sight to this crisis. We’re doing everything we can to save lives,” said Tori Fugate.
You can help Horton and the rest of the dogs at the shelter by donating to the shelter’s Roadrunner Medical Fund.