The 15-month-old Staffordshire terrier mix found in North Charleston, South Carolina, with its mouth taped shut is showing signs of improvement.
The dog, named Caitlyn, was found Wednesday morning on the doorstep of a home with electrical tape wound around her mouth. The tape was so tight it had cut off circulation to her tongue and lodged it between her sharp teeth, Opposing Views previously reported.
Initial reports claimed Caitlyn may have had the tape around her mouth for as long as two days before being discovered and her chance of survival was unknown as she was in critical condition.
Charleston Animal Society spokesperson Kay Hyman gave an update on Friday to The Huffington Post on the dog’s condition.
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"She is still really swollen, but she's walking," Hyman said. "She was eating small portions of food. Today, I feel much more at ease."
Caitlyn’s former owners contacted Animal Control following the abuse being made public and gave them information on the man who purchased her from them two days before she was found injured.
The couple told ABC News 4 that Caitlyn’s original name was Diamond, and that they sold her because she was a rambunctious puppy who caused damage in their home. They feared being evicted and decided they could not give her the attention and training she required.
On Memorial Day, the couple sold Caitlyn to a man for $10. They now view that decision as one of the biggest mistakes they have ever made.
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One of the former owners actually discovered Caitlyn with her mouth taped shut as she made her way back to his home Wednesday morning. He had a neighbor call 911.
"I have a dog that's here at my house that I found and the dog's mouth is taped shut with electrical tape, tongue hanging out its mouth, bleeding, and his tongue is completely black," the 911 caller said. "I just don't know what to do."
The man has harsh words for the person responsible for abusing Caitlyn.
"Don't let me find you," he said. "That's all I can say, don't let me find you because that's part of my family you just did some foul things to."
The puppy has been moved into a hyperbaric chamber for oxygen therapy to promote healing at Mount Pleasant Veterinary Care Specialists, which may help save her tongue. She is also being treated with antibiotics and is now drinking water and eating food.
But Caitlyn has a long period of treatment ahead.
"I'm making it sound like she's doing so great, and she is, but these are serious, serious injuries," Dr. Kelli Klein said. "She still has a long way to go. Regardless of whether there are surgeries or not surgeries[,] she will be in recovery for months before she is deemed normal."
A reward is being offered of up to $6,000 for information leading to the identification and arrest of the person responsible for Caitlin’s abuse. The Humane Society of the United States has contributed $5,000 of the reward money.
“Caitlyn is a friendly dog who may have suffered for days and is now fighting for her life," said Kimberly Kelly, the South Carolina state director for The HSUS. "Anyone capable of such a heartless act of cruelty should be held accountable, and we hope this reward will encourage anyone with information to come forward."
Photo Credit: ABC News 4