FORT WORTH, Texas -- A dog that was unable to eat or drink for up to four days because its head was stuck in a giant jug, is finally free and recovering at the city's animal shelter.
The one-year-old Pitbull-Terrier mix, which staff at the center have taken to calling "Pickle," is undergoing treatment and recovery after folks in the Meadowbrook neighborhood spotted the distressed dog last week.
"He was very fast and didn't want anyone to get near him," says Staci Szybowicz, who first saw the pooch on the morning of April 11.
Staci and her husband, longtime dog owners themselves, tried to catch the dog to free it but they couldn't keep up.
"He had to have been hungry, had to have been trying to fish something out of the bottom of it," said Szybowicz.
She posted an alert message to her local NextDoor site, which quickly gained online traction with her neighbors.
"I saw it and shared," says Mike Phipps, a full-time pet sitter. "No water and lack of oxygen is a great concern."
Phipps soon learned from a local police officer that the dog was spotted as early as April 7 struggling with the plastic container wrapped around its neck.
He immediately contacted friends at the shelter when he saw the NextDoor post, and they jumped into action.
Officer Randal Mize says he was able to find the animal with the help of Szybowiz.
Soon, he and another officer were able to pin the dog down while they worked to yank off the container.
"Eventually, we got it," says Mize. "And then the fresh oxygen almost caused the dog to pass out. It was pretty intense."
Mize says the dog was likely without any food or water for four days.
After Pickle undergoes treatment and rehab, staff is hopeful he can be adopted.
But the little guy might need a new name, because it turns out it wasn't actually a pickle jar that got wrapped around his neck.
"It actually ended up being a cheese ball container you buy at Sam's," said Mize.
People interested in a possible adoption can contact can call 817-392-1234.