ABILENE, Texas (BigCountryHomepage.com) – After the Abilene Animal Services building was burglarized three weeks ago, the suspect let many dogs loose. Releasing the dogs resulted in lots of injuries and even one death. One of the pups released was George. George is doing great now, thanks to his foster family but when he was found, there were concerns.

Meet George

George-the-dog heals nicely after being attacked, let loose in Abilene Animal Services burglary (Shared Sept. 15, 2022 by Ashley Martin)

George is a smaller five-year-old shepherd mix. His foster mom, Ashley Martin, told Big Country Homepage (BCH) he was abandoned behind a home in ‘massive trash piles left behind,’ after the tenants just moved away. She said the only food he had came in small offerings from concerned neighbors, and an animal shelter officer tried to catch him for about a month before they were successful.

When he finally was taken to Abilene Animal Services, Martin said he came in with severe skin issues and obvious malnourishment.

Although still quite skinny, weighing in at about 48 pounds, a healthy weight for him could be around 65 pounds.

Flash forward to August 25

George-the-dog hadn’t been at the local animal shelter for very long when burglary suspect, 38-year-old George Jones broke in through the roof of the building and opened multiple cages in the canine wing.

George-the-dog attacked, let loose in Abilene Animal Services burglary (Shared Sept. 15, 2022 by Ashley Martin)

The break-in happened overnight Thursday into Friday, August 26 – greeting employees with a terrible scene when they came in for their shift that morning. Just hours later, officers located a stolen shelter van and found Jones nearby soon after.

In releasing the dogs, around 10 went missing and one was later found dead. George-the-dog was being attacked by two large dogs when an officer ran to save him, according to Martin.

When checked for injuries, it was discovered that the dog had multiple puncture wounds – mostly around his neck and some near his stomach. He also suffered muscle damage and, “[Of] course, lots of mental trauma,” explained Martin.

Jones was arrested and charged with Burglary of Building, Theft of Motor Vehicle and Animal Cruelty. He remains in the Taylor County Jail.

George’s recovery

On the bright side, George seems to be doing really well! Martin said his injuries are healing nicely and he gets three medicated baths each week for his skin infection.

Martin told BCH George will do best in a family with older children (preferably teenagers) and other pets.

“He relies on animals to ease his anxiety even after his attack. He follows their lead and uses them for comfort and direction,” Martin explained. “I say older family just because he is scared of fast movements. I think he was probably beaten, because he will shut down if you move your arms too quick, so I worry that young children may make it harder on him to relax and feel comfortable in his home.”

Adoption status

While George isn’t adoptable just quite yet, he will be soon! He was just neutered Wednesday and once he heals, he will be available to join your family.

Although George remains fairly timid, Martin said he is very loving towards his people. He loves a cuddle, but isn’t clingy and doesn’t suffer from separation anxiety.

George is rather playful and loves to roll around in the dirt in his foster family’s backyard.

“He can be quite the goofball, too,” said Martin. “He has a cone right now and runs head first into everything, it’s pretty funny.”

George’s training is also going well. Martin said he is potty and crate trained, and is learning tricks fast!

He also hasn’t shown any signs of food aggression and has been great with other dogs, added Martin.

“Mostly, he needs someone with patience and empathy to help him through the anxiety and fear other humans gave him,” Martin pleaded.

Martin urges all to consider fostering our animals. Shelters fill up and in a terrible event, like the shelter burglary, it’s people like Martin who give a frightened animal some much-needed love. Click here to learn more and sign up to foster an animal through Abilene Animal Services.