When Escargot, a beagle-basset-hound mix, was found on the side of a Louisiana highway, he was in a sorry state. And it was a cold and dreary day, remembers Tia Torres, founder of the now New Orleans–based Villalobos Rescue Center, when she first laid eyes on the poor pup.
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Visiting a small, underfunded animal shelter outside New Orleans, La., Torres "screamed out loud" when she spotted the dog, she told The Dodo. "He had so many injuries." Escargot had been the victim of blunt force trauma, possibly hit by a car, and was severely malnourished. He had "every worm there was." Torres began ticking them off: "Heartworm, tapeworm ... " Also suffering from broken bones and lung problems, Escargot couldn't have surgery until he gained more weight.
Torres took the pup from the tiny shelter, which euthanizes dogs who live there for longer than two weeks, to be rehabilitated at Villalobos. There, he joined roughly 150 other dogs, including a large number of pit bulls - Villalobos is the largest pit bull rescue center in the world, according to its website.