**Editor’s Note: The photos in this story may be considered disturbing to some**
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WJW) — The Mahoning County Dog Warden is reminding citizens to seek veterinary care immediately if you find an emaciated dog and to not feed it.
Officials say an emaciated dog, who they are calling Faith, was found Friday on the east side of Youngstown.
Her urgent vet visit revealed that she has likely not eaten anything substantial in at least a month.
The shelter says Faith likely ate roadkill and whatever dead animals she could find to survive; her stomach was full of debris and an abundance of food she received while waiting for shelter deputies to pick her up.
Faith’s vet advised that she not be fed for another 24 hours so that her body could process what she had consumed.
In wake of this incident, the shelter has issued a list of things you should do when you find an emaciated animal:
- Seek veterinary care immediately.
- Do not feed the dog.
- If immediate veterinary care is impossible, only feed the dog very small amounts of food at a time.
Officials say a starved dog’s body goes into a survival mode metabolically, so consuming too much food too quickly can be life-threatening. Overfeeding can have adverse affects on the animal’s organs and could lead to organ failure.
The shelter warns that feeding the dog small amounts may cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Meanwhile, Faith’s vet says her will to live is strong. She has been moved into her own room with two beds, toys, water and was able to have the first small meal of her recovery regimen.
The Mahoning County Dog Warden says Faith’s medical team is taking it day-by-day but has full confidence that she will have an amazing life moving forward.