A puppy left alone with an old recliner and television was found on the side of a remote road last week in Mississippi.
Animal control officer Sharon Norton of Brookhaven was the one who responded to a call about an a dog left on the side of the road. As she drove to the scene, she told TODAY, “I felt sick to my stomach”.
There, she found a puppy lying on an old recliner looking famished.
“That poor baby; he’d been a good four or five days without food. I mean, he was skinny,” Sharon said.
She thinks that the hound/Doberman pinscher mix was waiting for his owner to come back, that’s why he didn’t leave the lounger to look for food. Plus, he was in an unfamiliar area, so it was natural for him to feel terrified.
“He was just too scared because it was a strange area. It’s a deserted road. On both sides it was nothing but woods,” she said.
She added that an interstate nearby could have put him in danger if he wandered away.
At first, Sharon couldn’t get the pup to move out of the recliner. So she hand-fed him food and that’s when he began to trust her. As she carried him to her truck, the officer could feel the puppy’s tail wagging.
“He was so happy because he knew he was going to get food now,” she said. “He was rescued and safe.”
Sharon, who is also a veterinary technician, cleaned up the dog and got him medical care. She named him La-Z-Boy Gatson after the recliner and the road where she found him.
She posted about the situation on Facebook, writing: “To the person that dumped this chair, your puppy was waiting for you to come back, slowly starving to death because it was afraid to leave the chair to find food. shame on you for doing this to this puppy.. but one day Karma will meet up with you.”
The team at Brookhaven City Shelter and several veterinarians have teamed up to nurse La-Z-Boy Gatson back to health. There are already local families who have expressed interest in adopting the pup once he’s ready.
Furniture company La-Z-Boy learned of the puppy’s story and was so moved “by the work behind the organization and the amount of animals that are taken into the shelter each month,” according to a statement obtained by PEOPLE. So the company decided to donate to the rescue.
Aside from financial help, La-Z-Boy also sent 50 pet beds to the shelter to make sure that abandoned pets like La-Z-Boy Gatson will have comfortable beds to sleep on while they wait to find their forever homes.
The company is also contemplating launching a new outdoor pet bed that they will call “The Gatson” and including the puppy as part of it to recognize his loyalty and spirit.
Hopefully, these actions by La-Z-Boy will inspire others to donate to the rescue as well!