The moment that a starving dog was rescued from an abandoned school has been captured in a heartbreaking video. A rescue team from the animal welfare organization Stray Rescue of St. Louis was drawn to the derelict building, after it was reported that howls had been heard coming from within.
They quickly spotted a brown pitbull peering down at them from a window on one of the school’s upper floors. The building’s entrances being secured, it was with difficulty that the team, led by Stray Rescue of St. Louis’ Donna Lochmann, found a relatively safe way in, via a broken second-storey window.
The rescuers used a ladder to climb in and begin their search, initially under the impression that two dogs were trapped in the crumbling bowels of the building. The brown pitbull that they had seen through the window greeted them on a stairwell, poking his head around the corner before edging closer to Lochmann, who embraced him and placed a leash around his neck, before leading him down the stairs.
“A little timid, he held his head down but looked up at us with sweet eyes, his tail tucked,” Stray Rescue of St. Louis wrote of the initial moment of contact with the dog, which they nicknamed Teacher’s Pet.
“Immediately his tail wagged with delight and he let us put a leash on him. Protruding ribs caused by starvation and tired eyes from loneliness overpowered any need to coax him into leaving; he was ready to go.”
The rescuers had initially believed that the dog had been trapped in the school for around three days, but said that the amount of feces that they found in the building suggested that he had been there “a lot longer.”
The classroom that he had made his main base was strewn with plaster and overturned chairs. Further exploration established that Teacher’s Pet was the only dog in the abandoned building, though the exact reason for him being there remains a mystery.
Rescuers suspect that he was either deliberately dumped there, or made his way into the building via the shattered remains of a first-floor window, though on the other side of it was a 12-foot drop.
The most difficult part of the rescue mission was extracting Teacher’s Pet from the building. The rescuers first needed to clear a window frame that was strewn with broken glass.
When it became clear that Teacher’s Pet was reluctant to step through it, Lochmann had to pick him up and lower him tail-first into the arms of a fellow Stray Rescue of St. Louis rescuer, who was simultaneously balanced near the top of a ladder.
The video was posted on October 21, and less than three weeks later, on November 9, Teacher’s Pet, now known as Ollie, was adopted.