HOUSTON, Texas -- Last week, on another heat emergency day in Houston, a dog, less than a year old, was taking what could have been his final breaths.
The dog wasn't alone when he collapsed in a parking lot. Pictures showed several people nearby, but no one offered help or approached the dog.
It wasn't until someone posted a picture and the location to their social media, that a volunteer from This is Houston animal shelter went to rescue the dog.
When the dog got into the truck, the volunteer said the dog started having a seizure.
A second rescuer, Kourtney Crenshaw, arrived to take the dog to Vergi Emergency Animal Hospital.
"When I got him into my vehicle, I actually said I thought he would die before we got there," Crenshaw said.
On the way to the vet, the dog lifted his head up, which gave Crenshaw hope. But he was still having trouble breathing.
Fortunately, the dog made it to the vet and was stabilized. The vets at the hospital then gave the dog a new name, Opie.
"He is emaciated," said Dr. Laura Ron. "He wants to eat a lot, but can't because his system isn't used to real food. We found minerals that he was passing, which meant he had been eating rocks, bones, anything he could find. What we do know is, he doesn't appear to have had any veterinary care, has no microchip, and hasn't had proper food in months. It takes a long time for a dog to get this way."
Opie hasn't had a seizure since being brought in, but he does have a bandage on his leg from a large wound, which is now sutured.
"He has several months of recovery ahead of him," said Ron. "But he has spirit and a gentle soul."
Opie, despite all that has happened to him, is also affectionate, which makes his story all the sadder.
"There are a lot of stray dogs in Houston trying to survive," said Ron. "You may not have room or the means to keep an animal, but you can call rescues, the SPCA, or someone, rather than leaving them to die."
The non-profit rescue, This Is Houston, is raising money for Opie's care on its Facebook page. It also has a PayPal account setup to help with medical expenses.
The animal rescue group responds to animals who were abandoned, abused or injured.