5 min read

Dog Who Was Chained Up In The Snow Finally Realizes He's Safe

“This is what happiness looks like.”

When Roscoe’s family left him in an abandoned house, he tried to keep his spirits up.

They tied the small dog to a crate with nothing but some straw to keep him warm and drove by once a week to throw him some kibble. Even when his food and water ran out, Roscoe believed someone would come for him — one day. 

But as heavy snow started to fall in southern Illinois last week, the little dog realized that he might not make it through the night.

Dog chained up in the snow sees his rescuers
Vanessa Skavlem

Luckily, someone was looking out for the pup after all.

On Saturday, a concerned citizen called the Effingham County Animal Control and Shelter to report Roscoe’s situation. Officer Vanessa Skavlem and Warden Michelle Shoot knew they had to move fast if they were going to save the little dog's life.

“They called us because it had just snowed the night before, and for southern Illinois, it was a large amount of snow and super cold,” Skavlem told The Dodo. “He was just shivering to death because he was less than 10 pounds.”

Dog runs through the snow to his rescuers
Vanessa Skavlem

As soon as Roscoe saw Skavlem and Shoot climb out of the car, he knew he was finally safe. “He was just so happy to see us, he came running out,” Skavlem said. 

They wrapped Roscoe up in a blanket and bundled him into the car. Warm for the first time in weeks, Roscoe couldn’t contain his joy: “He was just so happy, you could tell," Skavlem added. "He would just whine over and over and over.”

After sharing his rescuers' lunch of biscuits and gravy, the pup finally relaxed into Shoot's arms with a big smile on his face.

Dog finally relaxes in his rescuer's arms
Vanessa Skavlem

It was at that moment that Skavlem snapped a photo of the relieved pup, which she posted to Facebook with the caption: “This is what happiness looks like when you rescue a little dog from living on a chain in the freezing snow.”

Now at the shelter, Roscoe spends each day safe and warm. "We have a heated environment in there, and he has all his little blankies,” Skavlem said. “When he comes into the office, he’s so happy he wiggles and jumps up on you.”

Roscoe the rescue dog in the shelter
Amy Eubanks

Roscoe still whines with happiness, just like the day he was rescued — especially when his rescuers are around. “He does this adorable whine that’s almost as if he’s talking to you," Skavlem said. "You know, it just feels like he has emotions and he’s grateful."

If you live in southern Illinois and are interested in adopting Roscoe, you can check him out on Petfinder.