Just as CJ the German Shorthaired Pointer won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show last night, Dr. Andy Mathis, of Granite Hills Animal Care in Elberton, Ga., should win a Best in Veterinarians award.
When Mathis saw Graycie, an abandoned Pit Bull mix, cowering in the corner of her cage, refusing to eat, the vet joined her.
In a touching video he made Feb. 13 that’s gone viral — and that’s led to many adoption offers — Mathis climbs inside Graycie’s cage and sits beside her, eating and offering the dog her own dish. Eventually Graycie starts eating, too.
“We’ve had dogs in the past that took up to six weeks to feel comfortable getting outside, and then they love to play, they love other dogs and they love me,” Mathis told ABC News. “It doesn’t make me sad to see [dogs] broken and withdrawn because with time, I know what’s possible.”
Graycie, who’s about 2 years old, was brought to the animal hospital on Jan. 29 by someone who found her dumped on a little-traveled dirt road.
“Emaciated, starved (20 lbs.), dehydrated, hypothermic (temp of 95), anemic and with a vaginal prolapse,” Mathis wrote on the hospital’s Facebook page. “Practical Me says I should put her to sleep, but Veterinarian Me wants to try and give her a chance.”
Mathis decided to give Graycie a chance. He took her to the University of Georgia (UGA) Veterinary Teaching Hospital, where specialists were able to reduce her prolapse, get her temperature back up and rehydrate her. Mathis took her back to Granite Hills Animal Care, and she’s been making a slow but sure recovery.
“She had a collar, so she was owned by somebody at some point,” Mathis told ABC News. “Whoever was feeding her wasn’t feeding her enough. She was 20 pounds when we found her and probably should have weighed 30 to 35 pounds.”
With Mathis by her side, Graycie has gained five pounds. He sometimes hand-feeds her.
“She’s still quite timid around me,” he said. “I’m spending time with her so she’s not scared of me.”
Graycie will be ready for a loving new forever home in a few weeks. In the meantime, as Mathis pointed out, there are plenty of other dogs across the country waiting to be adopted.
“By sharing her story, it brings awareness to other pets who need homes,” he told ABC News.
To make a donation to help Dr. Mathis and Granite Hills Animal Care save more pets, click here.
Photo credit: Dr. Andy Mathis