Emaciated 23-Pound German Shepherd Gains Weight and a Family Thanks to California Shelter

Jimmy, now renamed Maverick, gained 7 pounds in just a few days

Jimmy the German shepherd was the same weight as a small dog when he first arrived at Riverside County Department of Animal Services in Jurupa Valley, California.

According to John Welsh, the shelter’s animal services chief, 8-month-old Jimmy weighed just 23 pounds when he arrived at the facility on Feb. 17. The emaciated canine was found in one of the shelter’s pet-safe, “after-hours drop-box compartments.”

“We believe he was brought to us by Good Samaritans, a man and a woman; initially we figured the dog was being abandoned or ‘dumped,’ but the woman had the dog wrapped in a blanket, so we suspect she and her partner were really trying to do the right thing,” Welsh told PEOPLE about Jimmy’s arrival.

Emaciated German ShepherdCR: Riverside County Department of Animal Services
Riverside County Department of Animal Services

After finding Jimmy, the shelter immediately started treatment. Jimmy was hooked up to an IV and given plenty of easy-to-eat gruel.

“The gruel and the IV fluids got him going on a healthier path immediately. He gained four pounds in a few days. By the time he was adopted on Friday, Feb. 22, he gained about seven pounds,” Welsh said.


Thanks to a Facebook post, Jimmy caught the attention of a couple in Santa Ynez, California. Bonnie and John Adams made the three hour drive to Jurupa Valley to adopt Jimmy, who they have renamed Maverick.

Maverick is doing great in his new home, where he has room to roam, plenty of toys, filling meals and nurturing love. His new owners have created a Facebook page for Maverick, so others can follow the young dog enjoying his second chance.


“This story will give people some faith that a government shelter, similar to ours, gives pets a second chance as fast as we can; it gives people hope that dogs, no matter how bad they had been treated, will warm up to a stranger giving it food, warmth and love,” Welsh said of what he thinks other will take from Maverick’s story.

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