A woman from upper Manhattan camped outside for two days straight to save a stray elderly dog.
Charlie the feral dog lived in Highbridge Park, in northern Manhattan, for about 10 years. He once traveled with a pack, but he is too smart to fall for typical human tricks used to catch dogs, according to a Go Fund Me page created in his honor after he was saved from the bitter cold.
Denise Lauffer, 40, was one of the many citizens who reached out to care for Charlie over the last decade that he lived in the park. Her worries of Charlie's well being outdoors skyrocketed in recent days, as the city's temperatures were dropping to near-record lows.
Lauffer told the New York Post that she knew she needed to help the dog, but she knew she couldn't do it without somehow gaining his trust.
"He needs to associate me . . . [with] food and companionship and heat and warmth," she explained to NYP.
To gain his trust Lauffer spent two days in a makeshift tent where she was joined by Charlie. The two of them snuggled for warmth and she fed him hot meals, NYP reported.
In two days, Lauffer was able to create such a bond with Charlie that he allowed her, among other locals, to lead him into a van where he could be transported and treated at BluePearl Veterinary Partners Specialty and Emergency Hospital in Manhattan after spending so much time in the frigid cold.
Within no time, Charlie was well enough to go home with his new adoptive parent, Tina Ilmet - who was among the neighbors who spent years trying to help Charlie while he was living in the park.
"Everybody knows him, but he's a feral dog," Ilmet told NBC New York. "If you tried to approach him, he'd run away. I've been working with him for quite a while, so he finally got to the point where he would recognize me and wag his tail."
Charlie is still struggling to adapt to his new surroundings, as he spent his whole life in the wild. The veterinarians taking care of Charlie tell NBC New York that he would never survive in the wild and with a lot of love, he should adapt to his new, warm surroundings.