A family found an abandoned dog on the side of a highway with fur so matted it took four hours to shave before nursing him back to full health and adopting him.
Laura Chapman and sister Carla were driving along a highway near Houston, Texas, on March 31, when they spotted what appeared to be a dog hiding in the high grass.
After pulling over, Carla, 38, approached the pooch for the first time and the sisters assumed the poodle-mix was a farm dog escaped from a nearby ranch.
But when they noticed the dog’s fur was matted and he was standoffish, Laura, 33, said the sisters realized it was likely he had been dumped.
Despite the dog being nervous, Laura revealed “it was like our souls connected with eye contact,” and so she took him back to the car and helped him into the back seat with her daughter.
After asking locals if they knew the dog, and with nobody seeing it before, Laura and her family took him home and fed him, before bringing him to a vet to be checked for a chip.
When no chip was found, the vets cleaned him up and gave him a medical examination – but because the pooch’s fur was so matted, it took four and a half hours to shave him down, Laura said.
She later joined local Facebook groups and put out ads on Craigslist, but no-one claimed to be owner.
A viral post about the first meeting on social media also didn’t identify the owners, and so Carla decided her family would adopt the dog – naming him Murphy and taking him back to Michigan where he now lives with their other animals.
Last year, Carla’s dog, Sunny – who she found abandoned – passed away, and so the family saw Murphy coming into their lives as a sign from Sunny.
Laura, who shared Murphy’s journey on social media, said the response her family received after the rescue has been so positive and supportive.
She added: “I hope it has impacted others to want to take initiative and action when seeing something that doesn’t look right.
“He may have just been the local cattle ranches farm dog, but I knew If we didn’t stop and check on him, I wouldn’t have been able to sleep at night.
“The second we approached him, he was submissive and rolled over to show us his belly – I just kept saying wow he is just so beautiful, his eyes were striking it’s like our souls connected with eye contact.
“It took the groomer 4.5 hours to shave him down, but we got rid of his fleas and matted fur, and then we took him to a vet, got him vaccinated and medications for his infections.
“He had been through such a traumatic situation we wanted to show him loyalty and that he would be so loved.
“It was like he was just waiting for a rescue and someone to help.”