A young dog with a facial deformity who spent five years neglected in an Austin, Texas backyard now has a new lease on life after finding his forever home with a woman who treats him "just like my family."
In April 2017, Beaux Tox, a 6-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever, was on his fifth year of living in his owner's backyard without a dog house or a dog bed while being subjected to up to 110-degree Texas heat.
The pup was said to have been born with a litter of dogs bred to be sold, but was given for free to a man who lived in Austin because of his facial deformity. His adopter apparently wasn't situated to have a dog, and thus Beaux Tox was neglected, as he "really had no place to go."
But his life turned around for the better when Jamie Hulit, also of Austin, saw a Facebook post from her friend looking for a foster home for Beaux Tox. Hulit, who fosters dogs with five different animal rescues, told Fox News she said she "didn't even want to foster him, I just want to adopt him right away."
When Hulit, 47, picked up Beaux Tox later that day, she saw that living outside in abandonment for five years took its toll on the dog.
He had "horrible" heartworms and was a mere 42 pounds — in such bad health that a veterinarian said there was a 50/50 chance he would survive. Beaux Tox was in and out of an oxygen tank for a month while there was "a list of things" he had to recover from before starting aggressive heartworm treatment.
Hulit said the dog "almost didn't make it," and described her first nine months with him as "slow." Beaux Tox was never house-trained, as he lived outside his entire life, and "didn't have manners when he moved in."
The "first thing he did was peed on the couch," Hulit said. Beaux Tox didn't know it was wrong "because he never had a home."
But, one year later, Hulit says Beaux Tox — who has two dog siblings, named Scout and Riley — is in good health and leading a great life. "He does everything he wants to do," she said. "He is able to live a dog life now."
"I just wanted him to be happy and to be a dog," Hulit told Fox News of her adopting Beaux Tox. Now, she says, "he's just like my family."