|Barked: Wed Aug 19, '09 7:57pm PST |
|This story made front page of the newspaper today.
"Durham Humane Society officials are calling it one of the worst cases of animal cruelty they have seen.
They are offering a $1,500 reward for information leading to the conviction of the owner of a severely neglected dog picked up by animal control officers in Clarington near Rundle Rd. and Bloor St. Sunday night.
The emaciated male chow, estimated to be about 5 years old, has filthy, matted fur that has fallen off its face, which is oozing pus and dried blood. The dog's belly is covered in open sores and its nails are so overgrown they are curling back into the pads of its feet, causing more bleeding and infection, said animal cruelty investigator Debby Houghton.
"He's in horrific condition and in a lot of pain. It's pretty bad," she said.
"We see a lot of terrible things ... I've been doing this a long time and this particular case is quite disturbing."
The dog, dubbed "Phoenix" by humane society staff, is now under the care of a veterinarian who is running tests to determine the underlying cause of the animal's many infections. It could be an immune disorder, a skin parasite or a zinc deficiency, Houghton said.
"It's something that would have started out small, but if left (untreated) would have taken many months (of neglect) for this to have happened," she said.
"We won't know for a day or two what we're looking at. It's quite grave."
Although the dog was found in a resident's back yard, there is no evidence it has been living in the wild for any period of time, she noted.
"My hunch is that the dog just got out and wandered there. Or maybe he was in a car and somebody just booted him out and drove away."
Chow Chow 2
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