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Man who saved the lives of two emaciated dogs finds renewed purpose in life

Custom_sam_sheepdog_300_thumb By Martha | November 13, 2012 | Comments (12)

Alton and Aaaron were rescued from a creek where they were dumped in North Charleston

Alton Ledlow rescued two severely emaciated dogs, saving one from drowning last week. Since then, he has been campaigning for help with their care. Alton said rescuing the two dogs has been a transformative experience and they have given his life new purpose.

Last week, he had an irresistible urge to go fishing. When he and a friend arrived at Noisette Creek in North Carolina, a very thin dog approached them and would not leave Alton's side. Alton said the dog lead him to the water's edge where he spotted something in the creek. At first he thought it was an alligator, like the one that was already 15 yards away, or perhaps an otter.

"I realized at the same time my accompanying friend said it, that it was another emaciated dog when he raised his nose from beneath the surface of the water, as if, pleading for assistance," writes Alton in his first-hand account.

"Before I could have time to think about it...I had emptied my pockets, kicked off my shows and plunged into the 45 degree water with gator in pursuit, swam to him, fighting the under current that wished to devour us both. I freed him from the rocks tied to the stick that was pushed between his harness and swam him back to shore."

Alton Ledlow rescued a pair of dogs from a creek in North CharlestonAlton struggled to swim out to the dog. He was severely injured by a drunk driver four years earlier, and the accident had left him with an injured neck and back and a crushed arm, put back together again with titanium alloy rods, pins and bone grafts.

When he got back to shore, Alton realized the dog was no longer breathing. "I placed my right hand on his chest and closed my eyes to pray for his soul."

He envisioned the injured and dying dog running and happy. Suddenly, he felt a movement and he saw the dog squint and water start pouring out of his mouth, as he fought to breathe. The dog's brother collapsed down next to him and "began licking him frantically".

The two dogs were silent through the entire ordeal, and Alton remarked it was "the only time in my life I've ever known any dogs to not bark a single time." Both dogs' gaze locked into a stare with Alton. He looked back at them "and in that moment I knew something truly astounding had occurred."

Alton feels a profound connection to the two dogs he rescued, because he too has a history of abuse and neglect and pain. On the fateful day he rescued them, he felt that they opened his heart. "Love and joy were gained and self pity and loathing were lost," he wrote.

He explained further: "A lot of time I've spent depressed and kind of moping around and feeling bad for myself. And, they put me into some perspective," he told ABC News4. "And, made me think about how lucky we are to have each day."

The dogs were taken in by Charleston Animal Society for care. The dog rescued from the water is named Alton, and the other dog named Aaron. By pure coincidence, "Aaron" happens to be the name of Alton Ledlow's younger brother.

His first few days at the shelter, Alton struggled with pneumonia. But he is beating the odds and is amazingly back on his feet. Alton and Aaron are both around 20 pounds underweight and anaemic presently. Although their conditions are still guarded, they are slowly improving. When Alton visited his namesake a few days ago, he was greeted with face-licks and happy barks.

Alton now wants to help the brothers get back to full health. He is hoping to raise funds for their immediate care and to get sponsorships for their continued care, which is looking promising. He is also hopeful he will adopt the pair after they have fully recovered.

If you would like to help Aaron and Alton:

  • You can donate to the Charleston Animal Society and indicate the funds are for Aaron and Alton's care at www.charlestonanimalsociety.org/donate
  • If you have any information on Alton and Aaron's abuser, please contact Crime Stoppers at 554-1111. You can make an anonymous call.
  • If you are in the Charleston area, the Charleston Animal Society will be recognizing Alton Ledlow at the 13th Annual Celebrity Chili Cook Off and Oyster Roast event. The event spotlights animals in need and will be held on Saturday Nov 17, 2012 from 1pm-5pm at the Joe Riley Stadium.

For the latest updates on Alton and Aaron, check Alton's latest updates on DogHeirs. You can read his latest news here.



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Comments on this Article

As I stated in the missing comment , the old adage , nothing ventured, nothing gained; I went all-in risking my life and depending on my faith and now I have twice of both . If you are dis-abled like me, take a lesson from me , you are well-abled to make a discernible difference and cap-able of amazing things still . Find the hero inside of you and be a hero for yourself and be proud . We are not useless . We are worth our salt and the air we breathe . We do more than take up space and deserve to not only live but also to be happy again. God Bless Us All.
I just poured out my soul and I do not see my comment anywhere . Perhaps it was too long . Oh well , I guess . Luvya ne wayz ! Thank You Elaine . Hopefully the website has my last comment and if need be will break it up into a few comments and still post it . I meant to explain everything and how I am concluding Alton & Aaron will be better off with a larger family in a home where they can be loved and cared for around the clock while I am going back to school and looking twice as hard for sustainable employment while recovering myself . If anyone knows anyone looking for an honest employee with built-in integrity , I do not mind what or where , please pass along my name and contact info or vice versa. THANK YOU , ELAINE , AND COMMUNITY. I remain ,Very Truly Yours - Alton Young Ledlow. I will be here for AYL .
Hello again Alton,honey please don't ever feel embarrassed about showing emotion,after all if you didn't have lots of love and emotion inside you,then you would not have done what you have to save these two sweet dogs from sure death.I also understand you are going to adopt both of them once they are fit,what better outcome could there be to this story,you really are a remarkable young man,so be proud of yourself Alton,you are a shining example to us all.Take care my sweet,and I wish you and your two new housemates to be,a very long and happy life together .Bless you all .
Thank You all , AGAIN! I've been tuned out to my emotions for so long , I'm just overflowing with gratitude and am extremely sensitive to all the out pour coming from you guys now . It is embarrassing at times . Thank you .
Dear Alton, I am extremely impressed by what you did... I am happy there are people like you... Honestly, I could never express the admiration I have and how much I want you to be content with your life! I am sure that somehow my thoughts will be getting transformed into energy for you. Be blessed!
*helps (not helos) sorry, typo
and since dogs are humans best friends, i belive when you say they saved YOU! and gave you that love and gratitude that helos with your depression. i know dogs that are rescued make the best therapy and service dogs <3
poor baby is only bones :( thank goodness you found them! i hope they survive and get a loving and safe home that they deserve and that they have all the food and toys, vet care and warm bed that they need their whole life. God bless! I shared your story on Facebook on the page https://www.facebook.com/realmenarekindtoanimals
Thank you guys SOOO much for your continuous support and understanding the gravity of the situation in its entirety . I thank everyone out here who are keeping this story at heart and forefront of our minds . For all those who are asking what can be done from a far , just read this article again and follow your hearts as I did and surely you will know what needs to be done by what your soul's urge tells you to do the same as mine did that day . If we all just follow our heart and minds the 1st time and forget 2nd guessing ourselves or worrying what people will think or say , we will always find the "hero" lies beneath the surface of us all. Thank you , again , Elaine , Anita , SeniorClass , Martha and everyone else following this and all related updates . Bless you all . God Bless the great folks at the Charleston animal society , animal control , the police department CBS, NBC , ABC , WTMA , CNN ,THE Post & Courier and all others I may have left out !!!
I sure hope Mr. Ledlow will be able to adopt these dogs when they are well. It sounds to me as if they saved him just as much as he saved them. What a beautiful story!
Wow, poor baby but hopefully he will soon be blessed to have a new home with his BFF!! and God bless the whoever adopts these babies. They've been thru so much ... :0(
These dogs are so lucky that Alton and his friend chose that spot to fish,and even luckier that Alton was brave enough to risk his life against the lurking alligator,It was surely gods will that brought them all together that day to save each other,and give them all new purpose in life.I sincerely hope these two sweet dogs find loving caring forever homes just as soon as they are fit enough to no longer need treatment.
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