BOSTON (WHDH) - The Animal Rescue League of Boston is turning to the public for help as they investigate the case of a severely emaciated dog that was found near Franklin Park in Dorchester.

The approximately 1-year-old dog, now named Dobby, was reportedly found as a stray in mid-August, and was transported to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center for care.

Upon arrival, he received a thorough veterinary exam and the greatest concern surrounding his condition was the extreme level of emaciation. Weighing just 37 pounds, he scored a 1 out of 9 on the body condition score chart, which represents the highest level of emaciation with ribs, lumbar vertebrae, pelvic bones and all bony prominences evident from a distance, no discernible body fat and obvious loss of muscle mass.

Pressure sores indicated he had been kept confined to a small space.

Dobby was placed on a refeeding plan, and while he initially lost weight, he is now gaining weight and continuing to make progress.

He will be heading into foster care soon and it’s important to note that due to his condition he is not currently available for adoption.

ARL Law Enforcement asks that anyone with information pertaining to this case to call (617) 426-9170 x110 or email

7NEWS spoke with Michael DeFina of the Animal Rescue League of Boston about the case on Tuesday. 

“The first issue with him was really obvious,” DeFina said of Dobby. “He was very, very underweight.” 

“He sadly was kept confined in a small area where he wasn’t really able to move around,” DeFina continued. “So, it was very concerning to see him come through our doors.” 

As Dobby gains weight and makes progress in his recovery, DeFina said the experience of taking care of him has been an emotional one. 

“There’s the sadness and there’s the anger that someone could treat an animal in this way,” he said. “But he’s also extremely inspiring.” 

DeFina described Dobby as friendly, saying he is “one of the most resilient, one of the strongest animals that many of our staff have seen in their time here at the Animal Rescue League of Boston.”

“We want him to just have the healthy and happy life that he deserved,” DeFina said.

(Copyright (c) 2023 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox