Golden retriever left to die chained and abandoned makes remarkable recovery

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In Thailand, the street dog population is overwhelming. Tina, a starving golden retriever abandoned and chained up left to die, has been one of the lucky ones, but please read to the end of this story, because Tina’s rescuer, Niall Harbison, has been making a profound difference in the lives of so many strays living on the streets of Koh Samui.

Tina is one of a dozen dogs Harbison cares for while being rehabilitated. He has a small sanctuary in the jungle, and after a tip from a tourist, he found Tina on a “short chain living in her own filth.”

She had clearly been used to breed puppies and was only 27.5 pounds when a typical golden retriever would be 55 pounds.

She had been left out in the sun with only a bowl of dirty water. ..Her so-called owners were nearby but mostly ignored her.

Niall Harbison on Instagram

Tina’s owners had no problem surrendering her to the rescuer, and the dog had been so weak and so close to death, Harbison had to carry her. Tragically, Tina had been chained for so long, her back leg muscles had atrophied, and she struggled just to walk. Had Niall not come along to rescue Tina, the dog would likely have languished out in the hot sun until she slowly and painfully died.

And why was she left alone?

Because she could no longer have puppies she was ‘no longer useful to her owners.’

Harbison on Instagram

For the first five nights, Tina stayed in the house with her rescuer who carefully attended to her needs. There had been veterinarian advice and lots of love to help Tina get over her initial hurdle of just surviving the horrific ordeal she very well may have suffered for years. Just trying to attend to her veterinarian needs had been difficult; at the beginning since she had barely had any food, her stomach rebelled and bloated. She went into shock, but the gas finally subsided with intervention, and little by little Tina has improved.

And now she’s starting to look like the golden retriever she actually is.

Harbison as told to Newsweek

Interestingly enough, Tina used to be anxious and aggressive, but now she plays, snacks and loves her human companions. She gets along with the other dogs, and her miraculous comeback to health both physically and mentally inspires hope for everyone according to Niall.

So who is Niall Harbison? Just two years ago, the digital media entrepreneur from Dublin nearly died due to stress and alcohol. In order to get well, he chose a “quieter” life and moved to the island of Koh Samui where he plunged right into helping raise awareness of the suffering and soon to be rescuing street dogs.


And now, Niall feeds 800 strays a day on the island, and during that makes a big difference by supplying the means and expertise to neuter and spay 100 a month.

Check out his Instagram account.

Feed and save dogs in Thailand. Trying to get to 10,000 dogs a month. Positive and inspiring dog content.

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