Marty's Story - As Told By Two Journalists
Rescued Dog Needs Home, Loving Care
March 31, 2001
By Lisa Mascaro
VAN NUYS -- An emaciated dog that caretakers described as little more than a "bag of bones" and days from death when it was found now needs a place to call home, rescuers said Friday.
Marty, a 10- to 12-year-old Shar-Pei, is improving from one of the worst conditions rescuers have encountered, said the group C.A.R.E. Marty still faces ongoing medical needs, but otherwise is getting increasingly active.
"I've never seen anything like it. It's amazing he's still alive," said Carol Brooke, a member of Cat/Canine Assistance, Referral and Education in Sherman Oaks, and also a receptionist at the animal hospital treating the canine.
"There's so many animals that get dumped in the hills. This is what happens."
Rescuers said two teens hiking in the Box Canyon area found the dog more than a week ago, and brought it to one of the group members known in the neighborhood for saving canines.
Emaciated and dehydrated, the dog had been huddled near a tree, whimpering, the rescuers said. Brooke said carrying the dog was "like carrying a bag of bones down the hill."
After a few days at an animal emergency center, the group brought Marty to the Animal Medical Center in Van Nuys where he has undergone tests, X-rays and a special diet to bring him back to health, Brooke said.
At 16 pounds, he was half the weight a dog his size should be, said Lloyd Pilch, a veterinarian at the Animal Medical Center.
Pilch said in his 25 years as a vet, Marty is the most emaciated dog he's ever seen. "It's a pretty awful condition," he said.
Brooke said the dog suffers from cataracts, needs dental care and is still being tested for other possible medical problems. He also suffers from a skin infection that could take a few weeks to clear, the vet said.
Though Marty will need additional medical attention, she said, he also needs a home.
She suggested a calm environment would be best, and added that the canine is fairly inactive and appears to be house-trained. She expects he could live an additional four to six years.
"He just needs somebody who can pay attention to him," said Brooke. CARE. is seeking tax-deductible donations to help pay for his medical bills, which are expected to reach [in excess of] $1,000, she said. Also, the group will help pay for costs of food and medical care if the dog is taken into a temporary foster home setting.
"He's really cute," she said. "If he could have a good home to live out his days."
Rejected Canine Returned to Health
May 16, 2001
By Jason Kandel
VAN NUYS -- More than a month after he was found starving in Box Canyon, Marty the shar-pei mix is set to be released to a foster family this week from a Van Nuys animal hospital.
"Before you could count every rib in his body," said Joanna Patrice, vice president of [CARE] a Sherman Oaks animal rescue organization.
"Now he looks solid, and muscular and shiny. He looks firm, strong, young and healthy."
Two unidentified teen-age boys found the starving and cold canine while hiking in the Box Canyon area between the Simi Valley and West Hills/Chatsworth.
They alerted Cat/Canine Assistance Referral and Education , the Sherman Oaks nonprofit organization.
The dog was then taken to the Animal Medical Center in Van Nuys, where he was fed a special diet to bring him back to health. He got his name after a directionless character played by Ernest Borgnine in the 1955 film "Marty."
As many celebrated Marty's comeback, some animal care workers still wonder who were the two teens who rescued the dog, and who abandoned a helpless animal in Box Canyon.........
Marty regained his health and went to live at the C.A.R.E. Sanctuary for several years. He then went home with a C.A.R.E. board member and lived happily there until crossing the Rainbow Bridge in 2007.