As an animal lover, it always touches my heart when I see an animal that survives the cruelty that exists in our world and is rescued by people who care. This is often the first time these animals ever feel the gentle touch of a human hand. These types of people really should be punished, but all too often all that happens is the animals are removed from their possession and they move onto another innocent animal with the misfortune to cross the wrong person’s path.
Athena is a Dogue De Bordeaux, also known as a French Mastiff in France, that managed to survive a decade of neglect culminating by being buried alive earlier this month by the person who should have been her biggest advocate, her owner. Luckily, an animal lover walking his own dog passed through the empty lot where Athena was buried and noticed something sticking out of the dirt. That is when he realized it was a dog’s head, that she was still alive, and he took action to rescue her.
Athena, named after the Greek Goddess Of War, was found buried alive on August 4. All that was exposed was the top of her head, which she had freed herself most likely because she was buried pretty shallow in a vacant lot.
She wasn’t able to fully free herself because she was anchored into the ground by her leash which was tied to a heavy bag of rocks.
She was weak and dehydrated, but relatively calm as she was freed from her would-be grave.
Her rescuer’s dog helped to free Athena too. The black pit bull’s name is Goddess .
Goddess kept encouraging Athena to hang in there while she was freed.
As they worked to free her, they made sure to offer lots of water in order to rehydrate her.
It was a slow process freeing Athena, but they didn’t want to hurt her by using a shovel, so the dirt was scooped away by hand. Here she is nearly free.
Athena was taken to a local veterinary clinic where she was treated for shock and dehydration with IV fluids. The veterinarian discovered that she was at least 10 years old and had obviously suffered a lifetime of neglect and torture.
Here is Athena with two new Rottweiler friends, learning what it’s like to be a loved companion instead of someone’s punching bag.
Athena had a permanent identification which allowed the authorities to contact her owner who lived nearby the vacant lot in Paris where his dog was buried. When questioned, he denied any knowledge of what happened to his dog. He claims that she had run away. However, because of the signs of neglect over a long period of time, in addition to the fact that Athena had osteoarthritis which would prevent her from being able to run away, her 21-year-old owner was arrested Saturday afternoon. His trial is scheduled for May of and locals are petitioning for maximum sentencing which would mean 2 years in prison as well as 30 thousand euro fine (approximately $33,000 USD). They are also petitioning to keep him in custody while awaiting trial because they believe that someone who is cruel to animals must have a mental imbalance and if they are willing to do this to animals, what will stop him from hurting a human.
Animals are completely reliant to those around them for their entire livelihoods. It is up to us to protect them and ensure it never happens again.