6 min read

People Find The Saddest Thing In The Basement Of Abandoned House

“He was thankful to be rescued — and so thankful to be out of that hole.”

It wasn’t the first time the neighbors had heard barking coming from the abandoned house down the street.

Dogs had been dumped there before — left to fend for themselves with no food or water. Usually someone in the community took it upon themselves to step up and help the frightened pups, but it took days for anyone to find Bentley.

The 5-year-old St. Bernard had been intentionally locked in the basement of the crumbling building, trapped alone in the dark, with no stairs or means of escape.

St. Bernard trapped in abandoned Detroit house basement
DDR

When the baleful barking didn’t stop, neighbors called Detroit animal control officers and the Detroit Land Bank Authority, which is managing the home, who responded to the scene. But extricating the dog was far from easy.

“One officer even scaled the walls down to him while another animal control officer pulled him out. It was a rescue done by true heroes,” Detroit Dog Rescue (DDR) wrote in a Facebook post. “Detroit Dog Rescue came as fast as we could to get him the urgent medical care he needs.”

Dog trapped in basement
DDR

The emaciated St. Bernard was 40 pounds underweight. Any longer in the lonely hole would have likely meant organ failure, and then possibly death, according to DDR. “He was collapsing. He was really sick and dehydrated, and a total skeleton,” Kristina Rinaldi, executive director of DDR, told The Dodo. “You could see his hip bones, his rib bones, everything.”

Skinny St. Bernard at Detroit Dog Rescue
DDR

The dog was wearing a collar, and even though he could barely lift his head, Bentley was so mild-mannered and sweet that rescue workers believed he must’ve had a loving family at some point in his life.

“He’s very sweet, and he was eager to meet people,” Rinaldi said. “It sounds kinda funny, but he was thankful to be rescued, and so thankful to be out of that hole.”

He was put on fluids and a slow feeding schedule so as to not overwhelm his system, and began to gain weight right off the bat. “He just needed to eat, and there was nothing in that basement, except for wood scraps that he was chewing on,” Rinaldi noted.

DDR

Finally on the mend, the lost dog’s future was beginning to look a little brighter when something amazing happened. Bentley’s family had seen the photos of the emaciated St. Bernard on the DDR Facebook page and recognized him immediately.

Bentley had gone missing on Easter, stolen out of his family’s backyard. Though he had no microchip, the family knew every detail about him, down to a small cut on his ear.

Bentley the St. Bernard reunited with his family
DDR

“They had been looking for him for a month, so it was a happy reunion yesterday,” Rinaldi said. “They thought they would never find him again, and he was so happy to see them. They couldn’t believe how skinny he had gotten.”

While Bentley still has a long way to go before he is back to normal, he’s so happy to heal with the people he loves most in the world.

DDR

“Everybody was just so happy, and extremely heartbroken over it,” Rinaldi added. “He was really loved and missing for a long time, so they were overjoyed to have him back.”

To help with Bentley’s continued medical care, you can make a donation to Detroit Dog Rescue.