COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - PAWS Humane is asking for the community's help rehabilitating a very special dog named Ghost in their care.
Volunteers at the shelter say Ghost had a rough start in life and spent much of his first year as a feral dog living in the woods near PAWS.
When Ghost was a puppy, he and his littermates were "pulled" from Columbus Animal Care & Control by another rescue organization in town. Ghost escaped during the transfer and would not be caught for many months.
On Dec. 4, 2016, the PAWS staff finally caught Ghost after luring him in with treats. Volunteers say Ghost was terrified, as he was feral and had little if any interaction with humans before.
Ghost was so terrifed that he actually had a heart attack and died, but fortunately the PAWS staff was able to revive him and nurse him back to health.
The staff says Ghost still has a long way to go before he will be ready for adoption.
"When you meet Ghost for the first time you will see one of the saddest things that you will ever witness," states the post on their YouCaring page. "You will see a dog who longs for affection, but has no idea how to accept love. He is very curious and will walk toward you, only to lose his confidence and retreat to the safety of his kennel. If you accidentally make eye contact with him, he will go into his kennel and spin in circles, which is what he does when he's anxious. Ghost doesn't wag his tail, he doesn't know how to accept affection, and he doesn't know how to trust humans. But, he's working on it and he's making progress."
Now, they are partnering with the nonprofit CorePaws to fundraise $3,200 to give him a separate enclosure and partial roofed area. This enclosure will be used for his outdoor rehabilitation and will allow PAWS to help more animals like Ghost in the future.
"Truthfully, he will probably never be a 'normal' dog," the YouCaring post states. "A past like his would cause many dogs to become aggressive, but Ghost simply isn't aggressive at all. In fact, Ghost is the kindest, most gentle spirited dog we have come across in a long time. We see a lot of dogs at PAWS, and this one is special."