DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - He became one of the most famous and beloved dogs of his time.
Lucky the dog was found tossed in a dumpster in Decatur in 2006. His story of abuse made headlines for months after his recovery.
Lucky was found in horrible conditions with severe injuries after his owner left him for dead. But the blonde shepherd mix pulled through, and today he’s an advocate for abuse cases around the country.
On Feb. 22, 2006, Lucky was found in a trash bin with a mangled leg and duct-taped snout. Animal control brought him to Dr. Steve Osborne’s veterinarian clinic. He was treated for shock and infection. And his front leg had to be amputated.
For several days, his condition was touch and go.
And then, as luck would have it, Lucky made a miraculous recovery.
“He just really took everybody’s heart and sympathy for him, you know,” said Osborne.
Having survived the most heinous of injuries, Lucky quickly took on a new role as an advocate for abused and neglected animals.
“There’s been a lot of changes in the laws. What is considered abuse? You might say that he had some impetus in the beginning to make them more severe, to make them more consistently applied," Osborne said.
Lucky’s owner was sentenced to probation, community service, fines and restitution. It was not the punishment Osborne says he’d hoped for back then.
But he believes Lucky’s story has helped shift the focus through the years to more harsh penalties when it comes to the cruel mistreatment of animals.
As for Lucky, he’s living the good life at Osborne’s new doggy day care, named for the little dog given a second chance at life.
“He’s had a good run,” said Osborne.
Lucky’s story also brought attention to dog fighting. Lucky was considered a bait dog before he was found in the dumpster.
Now with cameras in more locations, it’s making it easier for law enforcement to crack down and punish this type of crime.