Seven-year-old German shepherd Kiryusha was able to go to the side of the road for help.
He was discovered by the 39-year-old driver Olga Lystseva on a motorway in northern Russia.
She passed him and walked slowly down the street in the rain, but the sight of the ragged animal haunted her.
Olga eventually turned her car around and drove back nine miles to rescue the dog, which lay wet and exhausted.
Dog lover Olga found some food for the hungry animal and put it in the back seat of her car.
Kiryusha slept as far as Ukhta, 150 km away, where Olga handed him over to a dog rescue service called Kind City.
They began posting pictures of the abandoned animal and received messages that it was from the Yemva settlement.
The owners were found and said they had “knocked down” the dog and claimed it was “unhealthy”.
They admitted that they injected him with a drug that was supposed to kill him.
His paw was still shaved where they’d injected him with a lethal dose.
Then the nameless couple buried him in a remote location near the Ukhta-Syktyvkar highway.
They “apologized” for their “mistake” in burying the dog alive, the shelter said.
However, tests by a veterinarian indicated that the animal had no serious medical problems and was healthy other than starving and exposure.
Ekaterina Nimak from the ambulance service said: “Thanks to Olga, Kiryusha started a new life.
“He’s very calm in the shelter.
“He’s on a leash, doesn’t rush anywhere, rarely contradicts other dogs and doesn’t bark.
“He is good-natured with people.”
A new report from a local television station says that Kiryusha is now being cared for by a local family in a loving home.
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