6 min read

Dog Thrown From Moving Car Learns To Walk All Over Again

It was already heartbreaking enough that this English mastiff, a breed that should weigh anywhere between 130 to 220 pounds, weighed only 56. But then, her situation took a devastating turn for the worse earlier this month.

She's still healing from the aftermath.

Authorities say someone witnessed the mastiff, Violet, get thrown out of a moving car on Gallahan Road, in Clinton, Maryland, reported ABC affiliate WJLA. A Good Samaritan who saw the shocking incident quickly stopped to help the estimated 4-year-old and called Prince George's County Animal Control. From there, Violet was taken in by Mutts Matter Rescue, brought to the vet and then placed with a foster family experienced in handling dogs in critical condition.

Violet now resides in Haymarket, Virginia, on Fat Dog Farm. Debbie Gretz, her foster mother, is overseeing her recovery to good health and spirits, Autumn Clayton, a volunteer and foster with Mutts Matter Rescue, told The Dodo.

"She has a lot of pressure sores all over her body," Clayton said. "There are two on her legs that went all the way down to her bones, so they're treating those as well." As a result of the sores, Violet's feet are bandaged up. She initially had to remain in the basement - unable to walk up the stairs on her own. She just recently started to learn how to climb again.

Gretz told The Dodo that she took Violet on her very first walk outside the other day and said that being outdoors scares her. "I can tell you, I wonder if she's ever been outside. She looks up at the skies and looks up at the trees like she's never seen them before."

Besides her notable feet injuries, her emaciation is the most startling indicator of her past trauma. "It takes a long time to do that to a dog," Clayton said. "A long, long time. This is a special type of cruelty."

Photos and videos of Violet posted to Facebook since her rescue depict just how much she was forced to become a collection of bones wrapped in fur and flesh. Despite not knowing where Violet came from, Clayton said that because of the sores, it's believed she was chained up.

According to Clayton, Gretz said Violet was also likely used to breed, and that she probably had several litters of puppies.

Gretz explained in a Facebook post that Violet now must stick to six small meals a day to help her adjust to food again and regain vital nutrients. She's well on her way to attaining a healthy weight.

Although Violet's story is sad and upsetting, she can now take comfort in the fact that she will never have to face such cruelty in her life ever again - she's finally getting the royal treatment she deserves. According to Gretz, Violet's become something of a celebrity, with visitors stopping by Fat Dog Farm to meet her and bring her goodies, like bags of food.

"She is absolutely sweet and loves human companionship," Gretz said.

For the first time in her life, she's experiencing the healing power of love ...

... and a gentle touch.

A $5,000 reward is being offered by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for Violet's abuse. You can contact the Prince George's County Animal Management Division at 301-780-7241 with any leads.