Miracle of Survival: Jobee, a Three-Year-Old Pitbull Mix Was Found near a Dumpster, Overcomes ‘Worst Case of Starvation’

Jobee, a three-year-old pitbull mix, survived the “worst case of starvation,” the Angell Animal Medical Center had ever seen.

A three-year-old dog has been rehabilitated from an extreme case of emaciation after being intentionally starved to the brink of death by his owner, the MSPCA said.

36-year-old Lakeida Burris of Roxbury was arrested Wednesday afternoon on two charges of animal abuse, Boston Police said. One of Boston’s most wanted suspects, Burris owned pitbull mix Jobee, who she abandoned near a dumpster on July 4, according to the MSPCA.

The MSPCA said Burris had previously been charged with animal cruelty in May 2022 after a dog she owned was euthanized due to neglect.

Jobee was found by animal control and taken to Angell Animal Medical Center. Burris also owned another dog named Remy, who was also neglected and transported to the MSPCA after being abandoned.

Jobee weighed only 24 pounds, half of his healthy body weight, when he was found by animal control and suffered open wounds due to a lack of circulation to his extremities, MSPCA said. Jobee’s tail also had to be partially amputated due to necrosis.

“This is the worst case of starvation I’ve ever seen in a dog and I’m stunned that he survived,” said Dr. Kiko Bracker of Angell’s Emergency & Critical Care Service in a press release. “He had no food in his stomach or digestive tract, which had all but shut down. And we needed to be very, very careful in nursing him back to health.”

Jobee’s tissues and organs were re-nourished with IV fluids by the veterinary team. About two weeks after being admitted to the hospital, Jobee was slowly eating solid food again.

“In my nearly three decades in animal welfare I’ve never seen a dog so starved who was still alive. In fact, we’ve seen deceased dogs who had more body fat than Jobee.” MSPCA-Angell Director of Adoption Centers and Programs Mike Keiley, who is responsible for overseeing Jobee’s follow-up care, said. “He was days — if not hours — away from death, so it’s nothing short of a miracle that he is still with us.”

Jobee’s will to live likely played a role in his survival.

“We’ve seen in previous cases that dogs this neglected essentially give up and do not recover — but it was clear from the first minute in our care that Jobee wanted to live,” Keiley said. “He inspired us all and captured every heart along the way.”

Jobee was discharged from the hospital on July 19, the MSPCA said.

Keiley said the hospital will continue to monitor Jobee’s health as they begin considering potential adopters.


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