Marvin the mastiff gains following on social media

Pup found on roadside, nearly 50 pounds underweight
January 18, 2018

After his rescue from bitterly cold weather, Marvin the mastiff’s fortunes have taken a decidedly better turn. The young dog has captured the hearts of animal lovers on social media.

Marvin weighed in at a paltry 47 pounds when he was rescued from the side of the road and taken to Brandywine Valley SPCA in Georgetown. His foster mother, Cheryl Crowe, reports Marvin is now warm, well, and hungry, eating four to five times a day. She estimates he’s about 1 to 2 years old.

“I’m still learning his personality, and right now, he just needs to put on weight,” Crowe said. “But so far, he’s been great! He’s very good and very hungry.  A little shy and nervous at first, but he definitely starts to warm up as he gets comfortable.”

Crowe said pet owners must be careful when the temperature drops and the winds pick up. “As a general rule, if it is too cold for you to be outside without shelter, it is too cold for your animal,” Crowe said. “No one is to blame for Marvin’s condition except his owner, but we want his story to be a catalyst for all of us to begin working together.”

Mastiffs are an ancient breed of working dog known for their large size, loyalty and independent nature. In adulthood, they average 100 to 130 pounds. According to Grass Roots Rescue, where Marvin’s story is featured and Crowe is a volunteer, Marvin craves social interaction and affection. He may have been tethered outdoors, neglected or even left for dead.

Marvin was found in Kent County, Crowe said. Scared, hungry and emaciated, he was noticed by a passerby who called animal control. When officers arrived, they had to pick him up and carry him because he was too weak and cold to move.

His story was shared online by Grass Roots Rescue, and he’s already attracted fanfare from animal lovers like Amy Sheelar.

Words cannot express how much love I have right now, going through this post to that lovey boy. I'll be watching for updates and sending so many hugs and kisses,” Sheelar wrote.

A mastiff owner herself, Crowe knows the breed and says she is happy to bring Marvin into her home as a foster until he is strong enough to be adopted.

His story is not unique, she said. Animal control received many calls for animals left tethered during recent extreme weather.  Crowe hopes Marvin’s story can inspire education and advocacy, and help to effect legislative change.

“We have a task force working to fine-tune the laws in place, and we want to focus on community outreach,” she said. “We also want to educate people about the services we have available.” Low-income pet owners who reach out can receive pet housing, bedding and food, she said.

Crowe said Marvin’s rescue is an inspiring story of collaboration, sparked by a phone call to a state agency, supported by volunteers and animal advocates.

For more information about Grass Roots Rescue, go to

Pets available for adoption in the Cape Region and additional information can be found online at the Brandywine Valley SPCA homepage

To report animal-related concerns or complaints, call the Office of Animal Welfare at 302-255-4646.