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Maine family adopts abandoned dog they found tied to tree

Champ (WGME)

BRUNSWICK (WGME) -- Times are tough and while many people have lost their jobs during the pandemic people may also be struggling to take care of their pets.

“I just saw him tied to a tree and I thought, ‘Oh my goodness. He’s probably in trouble,’” Gia Cartionio-Thayer said.

Gia was hiking with her dad in Brunswick when they found "Champ" tied to a tree.

CBS 13 & Fox 23 host virtual Pet Food Drive Friday

“At first when we found him tied up, I just assumed he belonged to someone across the street,” Albert Thayer, Gia’s father, said.

But Gia knew something wasn't right. So, they called police and Champ was taken right around the corner to Midcoast Humane.

Staff at the shelter say it's not uncommon for people to neglect their pets during a tough time like this.

“I think we were kind of anticipating once COVID hit to see more of that, but we’ve been very fortunate,” Midcoast Humane manager Abby Malone said.

There are plenty of resources to take advantage of if you are struggling. Midcoast Humane has several programs to help keep animals in their homes.

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“We have pet food pantry where people can come in, get food for their dogs or cats so that we can help make sure that they’re fed and happy,” Malone said.

As for Champ...

“I’ve been looking for a dog for probably a couple years actually, I just love animals so much. So, I was hoping for a dog soon,” Gia said.

He has a new home with the Thayer family, and ironically, Gia found him on her birthday.

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“It just feels serendipitous that this should happen,” Albert said.

“It seemed like the perfect match. And we went through the whole normal adoption process with them like we would with anyone else and we checked all of the boxes and they came in today and the adoption meet and greet went really well with their other dog,” Malone added.

A happy ending for Champ and for Gia.

“He’s just so fun and energetic and ready to play,” Gia said.

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