6 min read

Dog Who Lived In Cardboard Box Feels Love For The First Time

<p>Julian Rovito</p>

He doesn't haunt this corner anymore.

Although for a time, it seemed this dog would linger here forever, a melancholy soul staring at passing cars, pining for his owner's return.

Julian Rovito

Julian Rovito

But this dog had been dumped there. And it took an entire Miami neighborhood to convince him his owner wasn't coming back.

The Dodo first reported this story on Thursday, after learning a dog had been camped on the corner of 10th Avenue and North River Drive for days. Local residents had been bringing him food and blankets and shelter.

Julian Rovito

Julian Rovito

By that evening, a GoFundMe page surged past $2,000. Donations for his medical care came from as far away as Australia and England.

"I've gotten bombarded with emails," Julian Rovito, one of the neighbors helping the dog, tells The Dodo. "I really want to respond to everyone. And I will do that."

But Joey has been his great labor of love - and time.

Neighbors had tried several times already to get the dog into a crate. Invariably, they were met with growls. Or else, Joey would threaten to flee.

Julian Rovito

Julian Rovito

Thursday was a particularly rainy day and the dog had left his street-corner box to find shelter in someone's yard.

"We tried to get a leash on him and he wouldn't have it," Rovito says.

The lure of meat finally got Joey into the crate.

Another neighbor offered to put the oversized crate in his car and drive Joey to the Alton Road Animal Hospital.

A Miami-based rescue called Animal Recovery Mission (ARM) had already been in touch with the clinic. So when Joey arrived, they were waiting for him.

He was covered in fleas and ticks. His skin was cut in several places. A chunk of flesh was missing from his nose.

Julian Rovito

Julian Rovito

"He had a bad day," Rovito explains. "Between it raining all day and us chasing him trying to get him into the crate and then doctors trying to probe him ... he was a little snarly."

But then something happened. Something we've seen seemingly broke-down dogs do again and again.

Julian Rovito

Julian Rovito

His tail wagged.

Joey got a new bed. Joey got a fresh start. Joey got love.

Julian Rovito

Julian Rovito

He will stay at the hospital for the next few days. Then the people of this most humane of hoods, working with ARM, will find him a foster home.

Julian Rovito

Julian Rovito

As it turns out, all he needed was a hand.

Julian Rovito

Julian Rovito

And hope, as always, followed.

"I spoke with the vet today," another neighborhood resident Christina Lindenberg tells The Dodo, "And he is starting to come out of his shell enough to get a leash on him and take him out."

If you're interested in giving Joey a home, get in touch with Rovito at jrovito11@gmail.com. You can also reach ARM through the group's website.

Or call the Alton Road Animal Hospital at 305-674-7387. While you're on the phone with the clinic, ask about Scout. He was dropped off at the hospital months ago, by an owner who never returned. He's sharing the space with Joey. And he's looking for a home too.

Julian Rovito

Julian Rovito