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They Shot Him Because He Wouldn’t Stop Crying After His Human Died. But Now Leo’s Life Has Turned Around

21 January 2017 238 views
Last December, Leo’s human sadly passed away. The black Labrador was inconsolable and lay next to his coffin throughout his funeral. His devotion to his human moved the whole community to tears in Favignana, an island off the coast of Sicily, Italy.

But tragically, no family member could take care of the devastated dog… so Leo was set for a life of loneliness.


During the day, he spent his time wandering the streets, particularly the places he used to go to with his human. Whether it was the old bench on the port where they used to look out at the vast ocean together or the cemetery, where he used to go with his human to visit his wife’s grave.


When nighttime fell, the poor dog would go back home and sit on his human’s pillow, desperately waiting for him to walk through the door any minute.

And then when he never came, the dog would start howling and crying in misery.


But after a few weeks, a callous neighbour got fed up with the dog’s constant wailing and shot him with his rifle ‘to shut him up’.


Over the weeks, several animal protection charities had noticed Leo wandering the streets and wanted to help him. It was Crizia Coluzzi, from the ENPA association who found the dog and saw his serious gun wounds.

Coluzzi knew the dog needed immediate medical care so she took him straight to a hospital in Trapani, where the dog had surgery. It turns out the bullets had lodged barely a few centimetres away from his lungs and spinal cord. After several operations, the vets managed to take them all out.


Leo would heal from his physical wounds but he desperately needed to find a new family to offer him the emotional support he lacked.

Whilst waiting for his forever home, the ENPA shelter in Trapani stayed right beside Leo, giving him all the cuddles he needed to recuperate.


Then finally, the long-awaited day arrived in March. Leo had found his new human, and her name was Michela.


The young woman, originally from Milan, came to Trapani to meet her new four-legged companion. And it was love at first sight.


Leo and Michela spent a few days getting to know each other at Caterina Catalano’s house, one of the volunteers at the ENPA shelter.

On March 29, it was time to go to his new home with his new adoptive mummy!


The president of the ENPA in Trapani, Viviana Vaccari, told the Holidog Times :


As soon as he was on deck, Leo didn’t turn to look back once. That reassured us that he was really happy and ready to start his new life. 


And Vaccari couldn’t have been more right. Look how happy and relaxed he is in his new home in Milan!

Thank you to all the incredible people involved in Leo’s rescue and recovery – what an inspirational story!