In late August, a dog named Gus made national headlines after someone shot him 25 times with a pellet gun and cut his neck by tying a shoestring tightly around it.

When the ailing stray dog was discovered on the streets of Houston, his head had swollen to twice its normal size. He was rushed to an emergency veterinary clinic, where he received life-saving surgery. Gus was then sent to a soft tissue specialist at the Texas A&M Small Animal Clinic in College Station due to the heavy scarring around the circumference of his neck, including around his jugular vein.

Since then, Gus has made tremendous strides in his recovery and now lives in a loving foster home with Marina Harrison, an employee of the vet hospital where he was treated. He’s even giving back to the community by participating in the fight against animal cruelty!

On Saturday, October 20, Gus reported to Eleanor Tinsley Park in Houston at 9:30 AM sharp to host #IAMGUS, a walk to raise awareness of animal cruelty — and, more specifically, to the suffering of strays like Gus.

Attendees were encouraged to wear rescue organization shirts or to purchase a “Walk With Gus Against Animal Cruelty” t-shirt at the event. Those without rescue shirts were urged to wear purple or orange shirts – the colors of awareness against animal cruelty. Participants also brought signs and posters displaying photographs of animals they were unable to save, also bearing the hashtag “#IAMGUS.”

In an interview with ABC 13 Eyewitness News, Michelle Haberland, a board member of Houston K-911 Rescue, noted the impact Gus had on raising public awareness due to the severity of his injuries. She continued: “It’s a very unfortunate thing that happened to Gus, but it happens every day in the city to every animal.”