Skinny Shepherd Escapes Euthanasia Thanks to Last-Minute Flight to Freedom, But His Journey Was Just Beginning

In a heart-stopping turn of events at a Houston animal shelter, a German Shepherd named Lyon was staring down the grim reality of euthanasia. But, as fate would have it, he was rescued in the nick of time. When they found him, Lyon was in pretty rough shape: he was way too skinny, battling a nasty infection, and had this odd facial tic that no one could quite figure out. It was clear he was hanging on by a thread.

Lyon the German Shepherd looking for home
Source: Pilots n Paws

Lyon Was Critically Underweight

When they first came across Lyon at the BARC shelter in Houston, it was clear the young adult German Shepherd had been through the wringer. His condition was a red flag for anyone who saw him, screaming neglect and a tough life. He tipped the scales at a mere 73 pounds, a far cry from the 100-plus pounds he should have been for his breed and size. This level of underweight was a tell-tale sign he hadn’t been getting the right nutrition or care for quite some time.

But that wasn’t all. Lyon was also dealing with a serious infection in his lymph glands. You could tell because of the noticeable, and frankly concerning, swelling under his chin. These kinds of infections are no joke—they can knock you down hard and even be life-threatening if you don’t catch them in time. It was obvious Lyon had been suffering a lot of discomfort and pain.

A Strange Facial Tic

Lyon the German Shepherd looking for home

On top of everything else, Lyon had this weird facial tic going on. It was like a repetitive, involuntary twitch that just added another layer of complexity to his already tough medical situation. No one was really sure what was causing it, but it definitely got people worried about possible neurological problems or maybe some past illness like distemper, which can really do a number on a dog’s health.

But then, things started looking up for Lyon. The Rottweiler Rescue Society came into the picture and literally saved him from the brink of euthanasia. When they found him, Lyon was in a pretty vulnerable state. His physical condition was a clear sign of the immediate medical help he needed, and it also suggested a past filled with neglect. He was in dire need of some serious medical care, a whole lot of love, and a dedicated effort to nurse him back to health. Thankfully, that’s exactly what he got, all thanks to the folks who stepped in to rescue him.

A Life Saving Flight

life saving flight for Lyon the German Shepherd looking for home

Lyon’s recovery journey began with a life-saving flight to Kansas, a pivotal moment in his path to healing. This critical transfer was facilitated by Pilots N Paws, an organization dedicated to transporting rescue animals. The pilot, Derek, played a crucial role in Lyon’s story, flying him from the precarious situation in Houston to a hopeful new beginning in Kansas.

Upon his arrival in Kansas, it was clear that Lyon’s road to recovery would be a long one. “When I saw him in the plane, he had a large swelling under his chin,” Donna Elliott, Lyon’s foster recalls, highlighting the urgency of his situation.

The Road To Recovery

The first steps in his rehabilitation involved addressing his severe underweight condition and the infection plaguing his lymph glands. The swelling under his chin, a stark indicator of his neglected health, required immediate medical attention. Lyon was started on a regimen of two high-powered antibiotics, and thankfully, the swelling began to resolve quickly, signaling the first positive turn in his health.

Lyon the German Shepherd looking for home

Once Lyon got settled into his new digs, the big focus was on beefing him up. He was only a scrawny 73 pounds when they rescued him, and the goal was to get him up to a solid 100-plus pounds, which is more in line with what a dog of his breed and size should weigh. His recovery team was all over it, keeping a close eye on his diet and easing him into some exercise routines that were just right for where he was at health-wise.

And then there was this major game-changer in Lyon’s comeback story. When he was at BARC, they said he was positive for heartworms, but after some more tests from Donna’s vet, it turned out he was actually heartworm-free. Talk about a stroke of luck! This meant they could go ahead and get him neutered and microchipped while he was still under anesthesia, which was a big plus for his overall health and future well-being.

He’s Slowly Gaining Weight

Today, Lyon is a transformed dog. His weight has increased to 89 pounds, and he is well on his way to reaching his ideal weight of just over 100 pounds. His gentle nature shines through in his interactions. “He loves everyone and just likes to go up to everyone and say hello,” Donna shares. Despite his large size, Lyon is a gentle soul, showing no interest in cats and remaining calm around other dogs.

Lyon the German Shepherd looking for home

In terms of health, Lyon has overcome his initial challenges. His facial tic, which resembles a chewing motion, does not affect his quality of life.

Lyon’s current living situation provides him with the care and space he needs but Donna already has three German Shepherds and a Belgian Malinois and can not keep Lyon.

Lyon’s Perfect Forever Home

The perfect situation for Lyon? It’s gotta be a place that can handle his size and his big heart. We’re talking about a dog that’s a whopping 38 inches from neck to tail, so his new family needs to be up for the challenge of a large breed. They’ve got to be all in on keeping him as an indoor dog, no chaining up outside, and they need to stay on top of his heartworm prevention. Plus, having someone around during the day would be the dream for Lyon, since he’s all about that human connection.

While Lyon’s on the lookout for his forever home, his story is really something special. It’s a powerful example of what rescue and rehabilitation can do. He went from a pretty grim situation in a shelter to getting all the love and care in a temporary home. His time with Donna Elliott and the Rottweiler Rescue Society really shows how a little bit of kindness and a whole lot of care can turn a dog’s life around. Lyon’s tale isn’t just about the tough times he’s been through; it’s a story filled with hope and the promise of a loving, permanent home that’s just waiting for him.

Lyon the German Shepherd looking for home

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