UPDATE: Shepherd who survived in outdoor pen for month after owner’s death finds new home

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Back in May, deputies with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s were called out to the home in Luther to perform a welfare check. They discovered a 64-year-old man deceased inside, and the dog, named Gunner, in a large outdoor kennel. In a release, the authorities said:

Deputies were called to a home near Luther where we found the remains of a man in his home. We believe the 64 year old decedent had been dead for as long as a month. We also found Gunner, who was in a large pen in the backyard. Somehow, Gunner managed to survive for weeks by drinking rainwater and apparently getting into a small amount of food that was left behind.


At the time of Gunner’s rescue, the dog’s muscles had wasted away, leaving him so weak that he could barely stand, and his body had been covered in “thousands” of ticks and fleas. It is believed the dog only had hours to live. Gunner had been turned over to the Bella SPCA Rescue Center for care.

On Tuesday, the Bella SPCA.Org in Oklahoma City that Gunner, the German shepherd, had been adopted by his extended family weeks after the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office found his deceased owner on May 18.

Gunner’s extended family has adopted him & we know he is in great hands. We ask the public to please be kind & sensitive to this situation. The family is grieving the death of a loved one & we are so sorry for this tragic loss. Gunner has been a bright spot for them, as evidenced by our meeting today. We can assure you they love Gunner & are going to give him the best care. They are immensely thankful to all of the organizations, donors & supporters that stepped in to help. Gunner’s owner was a man who “called when he called”, lived out of state from family and kept to himself. But, his sister assured us that he absolutely loved his German shepherds. Because of that, we find peace that Gunner was well loved.


Gunner’s new owner, who identified the deceased man as her uncle in the below video, thanked everyone, and because of everyone’s kindness, she can bring her uncle’s dog home.

Check out the video:


And off to Texas Gunner goes – we wish him and his family the best.

Read previous coverage here.

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