'He's lucky to be alive': Puppy recovers after being locked in hot car in Orange County

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — His life may have started out ruff, but a 6-month-old terrier mutt named Gruff is getting a second leash on life thanks to some quick-thinking hotel guests and a Central Florida dog rescue.

Gruff and two other puppies – Minnie, a 6-month-old Chihuahua, and Kiara, a 3-month-old shepherd mix – were found locked in an SUV parked outside of an Orange County hotel last week after guests heard the puppies barking and crying and called 911.

Gruff is the only one who survived.


Gruff was first taken to Orange County Animal Services for care before being transferred to Poodle and Pooch Rescue of Florida.

The rescue said they’re known for taking in special needs dogs that need extra veterinary care prior to being adopted.

Dr. Jon Zern checked Gruff out on Monday, July 8.

"He’s lucky to be alive,” the rescue group said.

Dr. Jon Zern, from Chuluota Veterinary Hospital, checked Gruff out on Monday. He said the puppy will be treated for tapeworms, hookworms and fleas, as well as a staph infection on his skin from neglect.

But, Zern said, Gruff is well on his way to being a healthy puppy again.

Poodle and Pooch said it'll be about three weeks until Gruff is ready to find his furever home. Anyone in the Central Florida area interested in adopting him is asked to fill out an adoption application here.

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