Abandoned dog recovering after found in trash bag in Willow Springs

The male pit bull was found by authorities “cold and severely dehydrated” in a double-bagged trash bag.

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“Vinny” was found Feb. 17, 2020, in a double-bagged trash bag on Forest Avenue, just north of 87th Street in Willow Springs.

“Vinny” was found Feb. 17, 2020, in a double-bagged trash bag on Forest Avenue, just north of 87th Street in Willow Springs.

Cook County Bureau of Administration

A dog named Vinny is recovering, but is still “extremely underweight and frightened,” after he was found Monday abandoned in a trash bag on the side of the road in southwest suburban Willow Springs, authorities say.

The pit bull was found “cold and severely dehydrated” in a double-bagged trash bag on Forest Avenue, just north of 87th Street in the Buffalo Woods forest preserve, Cook County spokeswoman Natalia Derevyanny said in a statement.

Cook County Animal and Rabies Control warden John Haralamos said he rushed to the scene and found the dog covered in blankets by officers who were already there. The dog had no reaction to him, and only moved its head.

Haralamos said he brought the dog to a shelter, and from there to the South Suburban Humane Society, where he’s “definitely improving.”

Staff there named him Vinny.

“We’re working on getting him the medical care he needs,” South Suburban Humane Society CEO Emily Klehm told the Sun-Times.

“Vinny” was found Feb. 17, 2020, in a double-bagged trash bag on Forest Avenue, just north of 87th Street in Willow Springs.

“Vinny” was found Feb. 17, 2020, in a double-bagged trash bag on Forest Avenue, just north of 87th Street in Willow Springs.

Cook County Bureau of Administration

Vinny has kidney issues and is severely emaciated, she said.

“He’s very shy of humans because of his ordeal, but he’s made tremendous progress in trusting humans,” Klehm said. “We know that given the progress he’s made he’ll go to a forever home.”

They don’t how long Vinny had been abandoned on the side of the road.

His body temperature was down to 95 degrees, which is low for a dog, Klehm said.

“There no doubt that if the officer hadn’t been out there, he wouldn’t have survived,” she said.

Klehm said stories of abandoned pets are upsetting for pet lovers, but can be educational.

“There are a hundred other choices that would’ve been safe an humane” instead of abandoning the dog, she said. “We really encourage people to look at their animal shelter, adopt a pet and put more good back into the world.”

Cook County sheriff’s police is investigating the incident, and is asking anyone with information to call 708-865-4700.

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