Rocco is a sweet dog in Puerto Rico that had been neglected and abused. Rocco’s owners had left the poor dog chained up outside for days on end with no food or water and no ability to get anything of sustenance. After months of abuse and neglect, he was barely hanging onto life.

When a neighbor noticed his pitiful state, he knew he had to do something to save him, so he called the police. When the authorities came to the house and saw Rocco’s condition, they acted immediately. They put the emaciated dog into their police cruiser and took him to receive the medical attention he so desperately needed.

Thankfully, the dog responded well to fluids and he tested negative for both mange and heartworm.

“[The dog] is responding well to treatment,” said Iris Quiñones, president of animal rescue group OICA (Oficiales Investigadores de Crueldad de Animales). “He was given fluids, doesn’t have mange and is heartworm negative. He is a fighter.”

While Rocco’s owners, 39-year-old María Teresa González Escudero and 29-year-old Carlos Colón Concepción, weren’t home when the police came for Rocco, they were quickly tracked down and brought to court. The couple was charged with third-degree animal abuse and sentenced for their crimes.

Colón Concepción was fined $50,000 and González was fined $25,000, but when they failed to pay the fines they were sentenced to time in prison.

Rocco is recovering well and his rescuers are hopeful that he will be strong and healthy soon. Then he’ll be ready to find a new home and a family who will love him and treat him the way Rocco deserves.