The Story of Augustus – A Walking Skeleton Undergoes An Amazing Dog Transformation

This abandoned and neglected skeleton of a dog is named Augustus. He was found completely emaciated and wondering around the streets in Chicago, no doubt looking for anything that resembled food. He had a large sore over his hip bone, you could see every rib and vertebrae he had, and his fur remained in patched around his body. But thanks to the loving staff members of the Trio Animal Foundation (TAF), based out of Chicago, Augustus received the help he needed to persevere and give life a fighting chance. Although he had no food, home, or companion, he had spirit and that’s just what might have saved this young boy’s life.  You simply won’t believe Augustus’ incredible dog transformation. Just wait until you see what Augustus looks like now!

Augustus emaciated walking around
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Shelter Dog Transformation - Augustus standing
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As the incredible rescue team at TAF carried sweet and defeated Augustus into the veterinary hospital, he was losing blood from his wounds, and hair was sloughing off in chunks. This poor dog was barely surviving. Augustus was also found covered in what the medical team decided, were likely chemical burns.

Shelter Dog Transformation - AUgustus lays down defeated at Vet
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The medical team was unsure of his ability to be nursed back to health but with all this poor dog had been through, he deserved a chance to live the life intended for him. So the team did everything they could. Immediately, assessments were taken and diagnostics commenced. Augustus’ first emergency to tend to, among many other issues, was his extremely low red blood cell count. Augustus was in need of a blood transfusion. Although he lay on the table, lethargic and apathetic, the healthcare staff saw a fighter in him and weren’t going to let him give up now.

Augustus standing
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Assessing the many ailments and acknowledging the steep uphill battle this pup was to endure must have been challenging for the vet team. These amazing people have to look at such atrocious reflections of human behavior and mistreatment of helpless animals every day and have the courage and patience to heal these animals inside and out.

Augustus at the vet
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The most frustrating issue in these cases is that the abuse is done to dogs, domesticated animals that have been bred and have evolved to trust humans and rely on them for safety, acceptance, nourishment, and love. To breach this trust and instead, abuse these helpless animals is one of the worst things as a human, we can do.

Augustus Trusting humans
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Even through this mistreatment and neglect, animals have the capacity for so much love that they learn to trust again. Even in the beginning, she could see the kindness in the vet team’s heart, and decided to trust them.

1 - Shelter Dog Transformation - Augustus Pressure Sore
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One thing was certain, this recovery was going to be one of the most miraculous ones TAF had ever seen and that it was going to be a certain uphill battle to get there. Augustus was anemic, his organ enzyme levels indicated damage likely from starvation, his white blood cell count was sky high, his skin was badly damaged, he had a large sore on his hip bone, and he had a gunshot wound on his back leg.

Shelter Dog Transformation - Augustus Pressure Sore 2
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The large, open sore on his back hip was a stage 4 pressure sore from laying on his side for too long without moving. Because Augustus had no padding around any of his bones, the contact between the bone and skin with the ground for long periods of time created what is seen here. It was so deep, that it just about reached the bone.

Animal Shelter Transformation - Open Lesion Back Left
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Augustus also had an infected gunshot wound on his back foot.

Animal Shelter Transformation - Augustus laying down and scared
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In addition to his wounds, Augustus was fighting infections throughout his system. His condition was, in fact, so grave that Trio believed that he was very close to death. There were even some people who saw his pictures on Facebook who asked Trio to put Augustus down so that he wouldn’t have to suffer anymore.

Shelter Dog Transformation - Closeup of his face
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However, Augustus wasn’t ready to call it quits.  With Trio’s help, Augustus began his slow recovery.  At first he was given fluids via an IV catheter until he could drink fluids on his own.  Trio then started him on small meals, but his system had a hard time readjusting to eating again, and he suffered with stomach issues, especially diarrhea.

Augustus Laying down
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Slowly, Augustus began to put on weight but he still had many skin conditions and infections. Augustus was given oral medications to combat these infections and given special scrubs for his burned skin lesions and for the pressure sore on his hip. His skin was also treated with silver sulfadiazine to keep bacteria from infecting his surrounding skin or getting into his blood. As painful as these treatments must have been for Augustus, he still managed to wag his tail when he had visitors. What a strong willed boy!

Shelter Animal Transformation - Augustus neck swollen
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Sadly, Augustus’ condition was poor so his recovery was very rough. One day, his face and neck swelled up to the point where his air supply was almost cut off. Trio had to rush Augustus in for emergency surgery to have the lymph nodes in his neck and salivary glands removed.

Augustus Post Sx
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Augustus woke up from surgery and was immediately very sweet and licking the technicians. The surgeon had to place a drain in Augustus’ neck for the fluid that was built up in his neck. Unfortunately he began to run a fever, most likely as an immune response to the foreign object in his neck. The surgeon also had Augustus’ lymph nodes biopsied to ensure that there was no cancerous cells present…

Post lymph node removal surgery
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The anticipation of the results was immense but finally the team got some tremendous news — the results came back negative! The drain was also removed and his fever quickly subsided.  Things were looking up but they new they had to tackle the next issue at hand. Gaining weight would be Augustus’ next hurdle!

Shelter Animal Transformation - Augustus looking better
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Thankfully, Augustus is an amazingly strong dog. In just a few short weeks, he started filling in and took on the appearance of a totally different dog.

Augustus on vet table
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Back at the vet, Augustus looks a little unsure of all the gentle pokes and attention he is receiving. Soon, he will know that everyone’s on the same team in an effort to help him pull through and live a comfortable and care free life — one, he had never known.

Shelter Animal Transformation - Augustus happy
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Augustus and those that rescued him decided to choose life for this now, sturdy young man. Augustus continued to pack on weight and muscle and he began to resemble a healthy adolescent dog with a huge heart. Here, he is seen with his new toys, which he loves dearly; especially, a particular pheasant that he brings with him wherever he goes and is very gentle with it. Although things were looking up for Augustus and his new stuffed animal friend, he continued to experience some skin setbacks…

Shelter Animal Transformation - Augustus smiling
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Although he started to heal internally, he was still combating a skin infection and needed to gain more weight. He continued receiving medicated baths, ointments, and antihistamines for the uncomfortable itchiness he lived with. Uncomfortable itchiness didn’t get this happy boy down, though. No way, pal!

Augustus Dog Transformation
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Here, with his favorite toy duck in his mouth, you can see large portions that were still in need of healing. The itchy and painful areas caused him much discomfort in these days of recovery. His trusty stuffed animal kept him from scratching all the time though.

Shelter Animal Transformation - Augustus smiling with a toy
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Another smiling Augustus picture.  Although this boy has recently suffered some more setbacks with skin problems, he just won’t let things get him down. He is continuing to play, put on weight, and maintaining a positive attitude about his future. Although he’s gained some weight, he needed to gain more to fill out his body and be on a healthy trajectory towards a happy, pain-free life.

Augustus
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Augustus began making a great turn around. His pressure sore was healing, his gun shot wound had healed, he was even growing patches of fur over the raw areas ravaged by bacteria infections. He is on new antibiotics now and everyone is crossing their fingers that they successfully combat the drug resistant bacteria that was inhabiting his skin. Regardless, his spirits remained high. He loved playing with toys, was very interesting in cameras, and was trusting humans more and more each day.

Click Next to See Augustus’ Before and After Photo!

Augustus Transformed
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It’s amazing how much Augustus has changed!  He is already starting to look like a totally different dog. His hair is growing back and he has been able to put on quite a bit of weight. We are so happy for him and will fill you all in on his continued progress and hopefully finding his forever home. If you want to help Augustus, like Trio Animal Foundation’s facebook page and donate on their website here.

Augustus was found in a gut-wrenchingly awful condition. It was clear he wanted to give up on life but instead he was transformed into a healthy and happy dog who wanted nothing more than to live and be loved.  But he couldn’t have made such a quick recovery without the kind, good-hearted people like you, who took him off of the streets and brought them into the shelter or the capable hands of Trio Animal Foundation who took him into their care and funded his treatment, or the amazingly talented and relentless veterinarians and staff of the ER animal hospitals of Chicago. The treatment of Augustus, like many others who now all live in our hearts, is not cheap. If Augustus’ story has touched you, please consider making a donation to the Trio Animal Foundation. Make sure to include Augustus’ name in the memo to ensure your donation is applied to his treatment.

Please know that WLI has no affiliation with TAF and does not receive any compensation for any donations you make. Our purpose is to bring these remarkable stories to your home (or office;-))and spread the shared love we all have for our four-legged friends!