BRANFORD -- As a stranger extended his hand, full of treats, a dog scarred by physical and emotional abuse, retreated. Her caregiver reassured her that she would never be hurt again.
When the staff at Branford's Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter first saw the dog they named Hope, she had just been rushed to their shelter on March 6, by a Good Samaritan, who said the dog was wobbling and falling over near the Big Y plaza in Branford.
The director of the shelter, Laura Burban, believes Hope is a mix between a Labrador and Pit Bull. When she was picked up, she weighed just 34 pounds, which is 30 pounds less than where she should've been. But, around-the-clock care has aided in her somewhat miraculous recovery.
"She's gained about 18 pounds since we've had her," said Burban. "She is maintaining her body temperature. She is eating and drinking."
The dog is looking happy and confident.
"We are all feeling much better that she is going to make it and she will survive and thrive," said Burban.
Through the amazing local fundraising efforts, the shelter is confident that they are going to be able to take care of all of Hope's medical needs.
"She still is going to be under 24 hour seven day a week watch for at least the next two to three weeks," said Burban.
Many wonder if there is any surveillance video from businesses along Route 1, near where Hope was found, that could provide any clues.
"It will continue to be an ongoing investigation, as we go through the process, but we do have some information," said Burban.
As of Monday, there were roughly two dozen formal applications the DCAS has received from people interested in adopting Hope.
"We know that wherever she goes, she's just going to have the best most loving home," said Burban. "We just have so many amazing people interested in her."
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the shelter are offering nearly $10,000 in reward money for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the grave condition Hope was found in.
Donations for Hope's care can be made at branfordanimalshelter.org or by mail to DCAS 749 East Main St Branford, CT 06405.