Some photographs beneath are graphic. Scroll to the underside to see what Gus appears like now! 

When animal activist Rob Acuna and a few pals noticed a photograph of a stray canine with a severely swollen head on Facebook, they knew they needed to discover him and assist him. For over a yr the canine had wandered within the space close to a Southeast Houston condo advanced and had suffered unimaginable cruelty.

They searched the world the place he had been noticed for hours, and simply as they had been about to surrender for the day they seen a foul scent in a small enclosed room behind a metallic gate. As they had been about to enter to analyze, the canine stepped out of the shadows.


His physique was skinny and frail-looking, however his head was swollen to an unnatural dimension. The canine was skittish and had good purpose to be – it was apparent that the folks he had met earlier than had been by no means form. His rescuers managed to dam the opening to the room and get him right into a kennel. They named him Gus and took him to Houston Ok-911 Rescue the place he might obtain care.

Rescues typically see cruelty, however Gus’ look really broke their hearts. Not solely had somebody damage him, however for over a yr, no person had tried to assist him till Rob and his pals got here alongside. Anna Barbosa with Houston Ok-911 Rescue informed KHOU:

“For however long, nobody did anything for him and he got to that condition.”


A small miracle, Gus’ bloodwork was high quality and he was miraculously heartworm destructive. But there was way more unhealthy information than good. Veterinarians found that the shoelace had been tied tightly sufficient to embed itself into his pores and skin and will need to have been there for over a yr. They additionally discovered 25 pellets throughout his physique from somebody capturing at him with a pellet gun.

The shoelace was eliminated, but it surely left a big open gash that circled his whole neck. He was given time to relaxation earlier than surgeons took one other have a look at the wound to scrub and consider the harm, however once they did, they discovered onerous scar tissue close to main ateries in his neck that could be proscribing blood move. The surgeon felt it was finest to ship him to a Texas A&M clinic to have the scar tissue eliminated by a specialist.




He arrived on the clinic and instantly went in for analysis and surgical procedure. Doctors had been capable of take away about 2/3 of the scar tissue in his neck, however he started to bleed profusely they usually felt it was essential to provide a blood transfusion and cease surgical procedure for his security.

Gus spent Labor Day weekend resting. Houston Ok-911 Rescue studies that he’s now consuming full meals and is in steady situation, however he hasn’t see his final surgical procedure but. Doctors nonetheless have to take away the problematic scar tissue close to his arteries.

Houston Ok-911 Rescue is being optimistic on his behalf, and are working onerous to maintain him snug. For maybe the primary time ever, Gus has folks cheering for him and treating him with kindness. He can relaxation and eat with none ache, and there’s hope for his future. The rescue has steak and ice cream deliberate for him when he’s able to get again to the shelter, and he’ll be thrilled to know {that a} good friend of his – a small stray who saved him firm on the condo advanced – was picked up over the weekend by the rescue!

Gus’ story was shared throughout, and donations and messages of affection and assist poured in. According to, over $8,000 has been raised for Gus’ care.

If you’d like to assist assist Gus, you may donate at You can present your assist for Gus by following his restoration at Gus’ Journey or Houston Ok-911 Rescue on Facebook.

Update 5/22/19:

It’s been 9 months since we shared this story, and Gus has come a good distance! We knew he’d get higher, however we didn’t know he’d be such a good-looking boy!


Gus spent a number of months with a candy foster mother, however was finally adopted by the founding father of Houston Ok-911 Rescue, Anna Barboza! He has the joyful household and spoiled life he ought to have all the time had!

“Boy oh boy do I’ve some information to inform you all! You’re in all probability questioning why I’m handed out so peacefully, no I used to be NOT consuming….I repeat NOT consuming! See I’ve found out that feelings of any form can put on you out, nicely it’s been an emotional day you see. Today I discovered I’ve discovered my without end household!

“That’s proper, you probably did learn that appropriately! FOREVER FAMILY 💙💙

“You would assume because the founding father of Houston Ok-911 Rescue, Anna Barbosa would have a bit of more durable shell and that she could be the final one to(as we name it within the rescue group) foster fail. Well I’m right here to announce she FAILED huge time. I knew coming in her home I had a plan, I used to be going to make her love me and by no means wish to let me go and I’m proud to say I’ve efficiently completed simply that.


“You in all probability assume it’s my luscious attractiveness and irresistible persona however consider it or not there have been canines earlier than me which are simply nearly as good trying with simply as nice of personalities. I do know, I couldn’t consider it both 😳. But me, I’m the one she couldn’t let go. Truthfully, I believe it was the tag-team effort by me and my foster brother Ranger that did her over.

“We can have extra wonderful bulletins coming quickly and hopefully new household footage coming this weekend. For now I’m going to sleep right here peacefully understanding that I by no means have to fret about not being liked and cared for ever once more.

#houstonk911rescue #gusstrong #thejourneyisjustbeginning“


Featured Photo: Houston Ok-911 Rescue/Facebook


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