Her owners said she was old, but the officer thought she looked healthy and rescued her.
When conservation officer Chris Lynch was driving through Michigan’s rural north peninsula last month, he almost didn’t bat an eye when he passed by two men in the woods with their small dog. He happened to drive through the private off-raid trail in that part of the wilderness, but when he saw the first man he had a feeling something was off and decided to approach him.
As Lynch approached, he immediately noticed two things: the tiny dog freely following around the man and the scary fact that the man slipped a loaded rifle back into its case as the officer neared him. Soon after, Lynch also noticed a second man deeper into the woods digging a hole.
He asked the men what they were up to and was surprised to hear an honest answer from them: the men were planning to shoot the dog and bury her there. Shocked by their plan, Lynch peered into the hole and saw an empty box, waiting to be filled with the healthy dog’s body. When Lynch asked why they wanted to do this, since the dog appeared playful and lively, they simply said it was because she was old.
Lynch informed the men that the road they were on was private property and that the owners were unlikely to consent to what they planned on doing. He also cited the men for illegally carrying a loaded rifle in their vehicle. Even better, he convinced the men to hand over the dog, who is now named Tunzy.
The officer brought Tunzy to a nearby shelter that was horrified to hear about what almost happened to the tiny dog. Staff at the Delta Animal Shelter told The Dodo,
“Tunzy is an 11 year old healthy female Shih Tzu. She is very lucky to have been found before being shot. We are thankful the DNR brought her to the safety of the Delta Animal Shelter. There is no justifiable reason to end her life. She probably has a good 5 years of life left and her health is fine. This community does not accept what was going to happen, nor any other forms of abuse of an animal.”
If it weren’t for Lynch, Tunzy would have been another victim of people who treat animals as disposable, even when surrendering them at the shelter comes at no cost. Animal abuse comes in all forms, and this is just one cruel way that animals’ lives are taken every year around the world. Thankfully, Tunzy has already found a forever home where she will live out the rest of her days with a family that loves her.