When Valia Orfanidou saw a picture of a skeletal dog on Facebook, she first thought it was from a horror movie. The dog was covered in mange and was so emaciated you could see every one of his ribs.
The dog lived next to a railroad station in Greece, and it was doubtful that he would even survive. In fact, when Valia decided to take him, she thought she was giving him a dignified place to die.
Greece was having a lot of financial problems, and so there are a lot of stray dogs in the country. Valia follows several animal groups on Facebook so that she can give back and foster some of the dogs.
She sees so many horrible pictures of dogs in despicable situations that she’s almost become sensitized to it.
But then she saw this dog on Facebook.
A woman who was passing through the train station in the Greek village of Oinofyta took the picture.
Two volunteers traveled to get the dog. He was scared, but went quietly with the rescuers.
“The only person feeding him from time to time was a Pakistani immigrant,” Valia said of the man who also helped volunteers locate and rescue the dog. The man’s name is Billy, which eventually became the dog’s name, in his honor.
The volunteers met up with Valia at a veterinarian’s office in Athens. When Valia saw the dog, she was shocked by how terrible he looked. She thought for sure the vet would want to put the dog down.
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