PATERSON — When animal control officers found Grant, a small shih tzu, he was emaciated, his fur was matted, he couldn't walk, and he craved affection.

According to the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Shelter, the almost skeletal pup was thrown from a moving car in Paterson, drastically undernourished, with fur soaked in urine and excrement. A GoFundMe page that was set up by the shelter to raise money toward the care of the ailing dog, states that bystanders saw a vehicle slowing down and someone pushing the animal from the car. The witnesses then called animal control. Officers responded and immediately requested help from shelter workers.

"This emaciated, sweet shih tzu was barely recognizable under a coating of thick, filthy fur. He was unable to walk. His matts wrapped around his head and limbs like a mummy. He had matts at least three inches deep over his eyes, and the smell of urine and feces was overwhelming," the shelter says on the GoFundMe page.

In addition to being emaciated and filthy, the dog also had dental disease and only weighed six pounds. Ideally, a dog of his size should have weighed about 20 pounds, the shelter said. The page states that the dog immediately responded to human voices and touch.

"All you could see was his nose and tongue through the matts, and as he heard a kind voice, an amazing thing happened. This sweet little creature moved towards us and gave kisses," the shelter states on the page.

Workers comforted him and named him Grant as they rushed him to Oradell Animal Hospital for treatment for various ailments including low red blood cell count, which required a blood transfusion. He still needs some additional testing, workers said on the fundraising page.

Paterson Animal Control officials are continuing to investigate the incident to determine who threw the dog from the car. Chief animal control officer John DeCando told that the person responsible for Grant's abuse could face up to six summonses of up to $3,000 each, or six months in jail, or possibly both. Charges could include inflicting unnecessary pain to a living creature and abandoning an animal.

"Our hope is that with 24 hour care and TLC, we can give Grant a second chance at life and that his body will respond positively," the animal shelter wrote on the GoFundMe page.

Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.

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