Dog finds forever home after being locked in cage in empty California apartment

RIVERSIDE, California -- A dog found his forever home after he was left to die locked inside a kennel in an abandoned apartment unit in California.

When Officer Cecilia Morris recalls the first time she met Twiggy, she can hardly talk about the horrific scene.

"This was really heart-wrenching for me, because I was shocked that he was even still alive and even had an inkling of fight still left in him to stay alive that long in those conditions," she said. "He was so skinny, he really looked like just hide hanging on a skeleton."

She found the border collie and pit bull mix locked in a crate, covered in dried defecation and lying motionless on his side.

He'd been left behind in a vacant apartment bathroom after his owner was evicted.

"When I got closer to the kennel, I saw the dog blink," she said. "And I realized the dog was alive."

Twiggy weighed 19 pounds when he was found in November. He had to be syringe-fed with water and nearly died several times while in the care of animal control.

For a little more than a month, Morris hardly left Twiggy's side. Then one day, he began to walk. And then, he started to run and jump.

Soon, the dog was more than 40 pounds and ready for adoption. He was ready to meet Michelle Hill.
"I have one dog at home that recently lost his buddy...and he's very lonely, so I figured I'd check the rescues," she said. "When I walked in, I was actually looking for another dog that I saw online. And he caught my eye. I saw him on the right-hand side, and I said, 'Hey, he's kind of cool.'"

Hill had no idea until Wednesday the extent of Twiggy's abuse and neglect. Morris showed her the pictures of his recovery.

It makes the happy ending that much sweeter for Hill, Twiggy and their dear friend Morris.

"I'm an animal lover, and when I found that out, it makes it more special that I'm able to give him a home," Hill said. "Because he deserves it."

Morris was moved to tears just thinking about Twiggy's new life.

"It makes my heart feel happy," she said. "I'm really happy that he found a home."

----------
* Follow us on YouTube
* More local news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
Copyright © 2019 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.