'Hope' the starving dog making huge progress in Branford

"Hope" has made incredible progress from Monday when she was unable to stand. (Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter photo)

A reward is being offered by an animal organization after a dog was found in bad shape along a busy road in Branford this week.

She's been named 'Hope' after a Good Samaritan saw her collapsed near the Big Y Plaza along Route 1 in Branford around 11 a.m. on Monday.

Since then, the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter reported that the abandoned dog has made incredible progress.

"She's come along quite a way in just three days' time so we're very, very happy with what she's doing at this point," Laura Burban, who is the director of the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter, said.

The shelter said a woman saw the dog wandering near a Big Y supermarket before she fell. The woman took the dog, who is between the age of five and seven, to the shelter herself.

Shelter officials said when they received her, Hope could not walk and she had been starved for two to three months.

The dog was a day or two away from death, the shelter said.

As of Thursday, Hope was able to stand and walk a bit on her own after receiving 24 hour care. The shelter said Hope still falls at times, but it is pleased with her progress. However, her temperature was said to still be fluctuating. Officials said that will take more time to stabilize. She is eating small amounts of food and drinking water on her own.

PETA is now offering $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction on cruelty charges of the person or persons responsible for this crime.

"Hope had almost completely wasted away and only narrowly escaped starving to death. PETA is urging anyone with information about this case to come forward immediately so that this dog's abuser can be held accountable and prevented from hurting anyone else," PETA Vice President Colleen O'Brien said in a statement on Thursday.

Burban called it the worst case of dog abuse she'd ever seen. The Branford Police Department is still investigating the incident.

"Tons of people are calling and just checking on her," Burban said. "We're really grateful for this public support, so we're hoping that somebody in the public will now know who had this dog and will give us a call as well."

The Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter said donations can be made to the Branford Animal Shelter at this link or their Facebook page.

They can also be mailed to:749 East Main St.Branford,CT 06405

The shelter said it does not have a GoFundMe page set up.

"Excuse me, I saw the story about Hope," Marsha Griffin who stopped by the animal shelter to see how she could help, said. "The dog that looks like she's been abused, this is terrible and I just wanted to help."

There is a lot of interest in Hope, but she's not up for adoption yet. Burban said the next two weeks are critical to her recovery.

For more information on PETA, click here.

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