OCALA, Fla. - A Marion County family is fighting to save the life of a dog they found dehydrated, malnourished and worm-infested on the side of the road.
9-year old Justice Murphy was riding her bike last week when she noticed something in the brush. That's where she found 1-year-old Athena lying motionless.
She dashed home to get her mom, Mary.
"It broke my hears and angered me as to why anyone could do this to animal," she said.
Murphy took Athena to the vet, where she was diagnosed with ringworm, hook worms and malnutrition. Murphy contacted a rescue group for help, but when they recommended euthanizing the animal, Murphy opted to bring her home.
She started a Facebook page, Help Save Athena, to raise money for vet bills. Murphy tells us she and her partner just moved to Central Florida a few months ago and have only recently found work. With a child and four pets of their own to care for, the extra expenses are simply too much. But, she says, she couldn't let Athena go.
"Just looking into her eyes, she had so much fight in her. She wasn't ready to give up. So if she's willing to fight then we are willing to fight for her."
Murphy says they named the dog in honor of the Greek warrior, because of her fighting spirit. If you'd like to help Athena, visit her Facebook page for more information.