Dice had been shoved into a cage, thrown into a yard and . If no one had discovered the 3-year-old , he definitely wouldn’t have made it — but thankfully, he was found.
In early November, police officers were serving eviction notices in a neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, when children alerted them about Dice, who sat in a cage outside an abandoned apartment.
“The tenants moved out and left him in the backyard in a crate with no food or water,” Tracey Godin, cofounder of in Loxahatchee, Florida, told The Dodo. “The police, of course, asked the children how long the dog had been there, and they said they thought he’d been there a week or more.”
But Dice had probably been neglected for a lot longer than that.
“He was for months,” Godin said. “The last week would have just been the final deterioration.”
The police officers called animal control, who transported Dice to a local shelter. Godin’s friend, who volunteers at the shelter, saw Dice come in and snapped some photos of him. When Godin received the images from her friend, she was shocked and saddened.
“It took your breath away,” Godin said. “I didn’t know how he was still alive. Tears immediately came to my face.”
Godin and her daughter Micaela pulled Dice from the shelter the very next day, and rushed him to the vet.
“He couldn’t walk about 5 or 6 feet without falling,” Godin said. “We were in [the] parking lot at the vet, and when he took one step to get up on the sidewalk, he couldn’t hold his body weight up and just collapsed. I didn’t think he was going to live.”
“He was 30 pounds, but he should have been 65 pounds,” she added. “He was dehydrated and anemic. You could see his skull — there was just no muscle mass in his body at all. His eyes were sunken in his head. In my opinion, if he had been in that cage another day, he would not have made it.”
Once Dice was healthy enough to leave the vet, he came to live at Feeling Fine Rescue, which Godin and her daughter run from their home. They both marveled at Dice’s rapid recovery.
“Within a week, he gained 10 pounds,” Godin said. “He was 40 pounds within one week. Two weeks later, he was 50 pounds, and by the weekend, he was 65 pounds. Basically every day, you could see a difference in the dog.”
Dice also started to , making his face glow with happiness.
“It’s really incredible to see how a dog can go through so much at the hands of people, and ... be immediately ready to love and trust new people,” Micaela Godin told The Dodo. “From the minute we met Dice, he’s been the most loving dog. He has an amazing personality.”
Dice’s good luck kept on going. In late December, he caught the eye of a family looking to adopt a third dog.
“They really fell in love with him the moment they saw him,” Tracey Godin said. “They came to visit him several times. They asked if they could do a meet-and-greet at their property with their two current dogs.”
The meet-and-greet was an enormous success — not only did Dice get along with the family’s two other dogs, but he also bonded with their two small children. Two weeks later, Dice went home with the family on a .
But just a few days later, the family knew they wanted Dice to stay.
“They called me last night and said, ‘We’re more in love with him than the moment we met him, and we would like to never bring him back,’” Tracey Godin said. “I was crying because this family is absolutely incredible ... and I don’t think that Dice could have gone to a better home.”
As for Dice, he seems to know how good he has it now.
“The family is telling me they can’t believe how quickly he adjusted, like he’s been there forever,” Tracey Godin said. “One [of the children] came home from school yesterday and said, ‘I’m so glad you’re here, Dice, you’re not going back to the rescue. I missed you so much when I was at school.’"
“We save a lot of dogs, and they all have stories, and they all come from such awful beginnings,” Micaela Godin said. “But Dice is resilient in how quick he was able to bounce back, and how gracefully he did it. He’s so lucky, and he’s strong to be able to make it through this, and to come out on the other side so quickly and so successfully. I would say that it was a miracle, for sure.”
To help rescue and rehome more dogs like Dice, you can .