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Starving Pit Bull Slowly Gaining Weight in Mission Viejo

Meet Bruno, a young pit bull recently rescued by The Pet Rescue Center in Mission Viejo.

Bruno is one skinny pup.

The pit bull is about two years old and ought to be 70 pounds, estimates Casey Oliver, director of operations for the Pet Rescue Center, the rescue wing of Alicia Pet Care.

But instead he weighs 45 pounds. And that's after he gained three pounds this week, Oliver said. When he entered the center at the beginning of the month, he was at least four pounds thinner, she said.

The nonprofit Rescue Center attempts to lower the pet euthenasia rate in Orange County by finding suitable pets from local shelters, then giving them medical care and rehabilitating them, she said.

Sometimes that simply means potty-training a puppy or vaccinating a cat. And sometimes it means slowly nursing an animal like Bruno back to health.

When the center found him, Bruno was labeled unsocial, Oliver said: "That's a nail in a coffin for a pit bull."

She said it's hard to say why Bruno is so thin. He could have been chained up and neglected, she said. Or he may have been fed an inappropriate diet and developed inflammatory bowel disease.

Right now, he's too skinny to diagnose, she said.

At the beginning of the month, the center brought in 11 new dogs and 11 new cats. Some are ready for homes right now. Others, like Bruno, will need more care first.

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