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Olympic Animal Sanctuary dog back from brink of death

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Photo: Video by ktnv.com

Olympic Animal Sanctuary dog back from brink of death

By Darcy Spears. CREATED Mar 15, 2014

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- A dog nearly starved to death at a place dubbed the Sanctuary of Sorrow is finally looking for a forever home.

Chief Investigator Darcy Spears has the story of an Arizona resuce group, a Henderson veterinarian and a dog's will to live.

Hillarie Allison never thought she would see the day when Bubba would jump and play and give kisses.

It's almost a miracle consider where Bubba came from.

Bubba was very, very sick when he arrived in the back of a semi-truck trailer at the Ruff House Sanctuary near Kingman, Ariz., on Dec. 28.

He was one of 124 dogs crammed into crates. He was completely emaciated when he arrived and was having seizures. Bubba's gums were completely white and he couldn't even lift his head because he had almost been starved to death.

Bubba and the other dogs came from the Olympic Animal Sanctuary in Forks, Washington. The so-called sanctuary was actually a dilapidated warehouse where dogs supposedly too dangerous to adopt where kept for several years.

Dr. Randy Winn at VCA Black Animal Hospital in Henderson says he had never seen a dog so close to death as Bubba in his 31 years of practice.

"The condition that he was in was atrocious," said Dr. Randy Winn of VCA Black Mountain Animal Hospital in Henderson.  "I mean, this was not only neglect, but pure abuse."

Police photos documents those dogs living in darkness, kept in tiny enclosures with little to no exercise and only sporadic access to food and water.

Steve Markwell, who ran Olympic Animal Sanctuary was never charged with anything.

Dr. Winn and Hillarie Allison hope to change that. "We have the documentation now," says Hillarie.

PHOTOS: Bubba's road to recovery

Bubba's was so malnourished that his skin was splitting from lack of protein and from being in a crate for so long.

Dr. Winn thought at one point that Bubba would have to be put down but the dog had a miraculous will to live.

Now, Bubba looks like a completely different dog. He has spent the last 3 months at Black Mountain Animal Hospital in Henderson.

In that time he has almost doubled his weight and all of his sores have healed. The toughest part of the healing process was Bubba's joints. They degenerated so much from malnutrition that he will most likely have to take medication the rest of his life.

PHOTOS: Dogs rescued from Sanctuary of Sorrow

Amid tears and hugs, the VCA staff is had a hard time saying goodbye, but Bubba is ready to begin anew. He is headed back to Golden Valley, Ariz., for now.

Anyone who is interested in adopting Bubba should contact RUFF House Sanctuary. You can send an email to goathillzoo@frontier.net or 928-279-6409.

Be advised that Bubba should be the only dog in a home.

Darcy Spears

Darcy Spears

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Darcy Spears is currently the Chief Investigative Reporter for Action News.