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Despite its uncertain past, a stray dog rescued near Sunderland will likely have a bright future thanks to the kindness of a Port Perry couple.

Michelle Emard and her husband, Clay Dempsey, were touring through the area Wednesday (Aug. 30) on a bicycle ride when they came across the dog stuck in the mud along the side of the road.abandoned dog

Emaciated, it lacked the strength to even stand.

“Personally, I believe someone decided to not take care of this dog due to its age or health and dropped it off on the side of the road,” Emard said.

“She had been out for quite a while. Her nails were extremely long and the amount of burrs on her made her fur look fluffy even though she’s so skinny.”

With the help of a resident nearby, who happened to be a dog breeder, the couple managed to pull the dog from the mud without causing further injury.

The neighbour cared for the dog through the night. When it was brought to an area veterinarian the following day, animal welfare authorities were alerted.

“Anyone that wants to try and claim the dog will have to go through a screening process.”

Emard shared the post on Facebook, looking for the dog’s owners or a local agency that could help track them down. It’s since been shared nearly 1,200 times with dozens of people lauding the couple’s selfless decision to rescue the animal.

Many referred to them as ‘guardian angels.’

“I was not expecting all the responses but I’m really happy to hear that there are just as many people out there that love dogs as much as I do,” she said.

If the owner doesn’t come forward, Emard said the couple fully intends on adopting the dog.

“Clay and I strongly believe we were meant to cross paths. This was the first time we went on a 20-mile bike ride and we ended up finding her,” she said.

“Her condition is pretty severe…but she has been eating, drinking and getting lots of snuggles. We’re hoping with positive vibes around her she’ll gather her strength up and start to heal.”

In a Facebook post Friday (Sept. 1) morning, the Brock Township Animal Shelter thanked Emard and her husband for “finding, stopping and rescuing (the dog) and the love they provided.”

They also thanked the neighbour, identified as Shelly, for helping with the rescue, temporarily housing the dog and contacting the Shelter.

“You three are angels,” reads the post.

“We picked her up on the day she was found and the dog is currently in our care and under protective custody and medical observation. Should an owner come forward we will be bringing in the Ontario SPCA to conduct a full investigation,” continues the post.

“The dog has some medical concerns which were present prior to her being stuck in the mud and we are working on building her strength and conducting further veterinary discovery to determine the cause. We are doing everything we can to provide this little sweet girl with the love, care and medical attention she needs.”

The Shelter also reported the dog is feeling much better, and attached photos highlighting her progress.

“She is benefiting from all the TLC she has been receiving. We want to thank all of you for your concern and outpouring of love for the dog, and will update you when we know more information,” the Shelter post reads.

Anyone with information about the dog, or anyone who would like to help, is asked to contact the Shelter directly by calling 705-432-2884.

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