An emaciated dog chewed off his own foot to free himself after being tied up for a day. He is now in the care of animal rescue workers.
Maverick, a 2-year-old German shepherd, gnawed off the toes of his right back foot to escape his leash, WFXT reported. The animal had been left tethered and neglected for at least an entire day at a home in Middleboro, Massachusetts, before he was found by an animal control worker on July 12 and taken to a nearby clinic for treatment. The animal is now in the care of a local Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shelter.
"I have been working here for six and a half years," Alyssa Krieger, the manager of MSPCA's Boston adoption center, told WFXT. "I have literally never seen, this is the most disturbing thing I've ever seen. All he has left is the base pad of his paw. All of the toes are gone and the toes were sticking out. Where he had chewed them off. It was just absolutely horrifying."
Maverick was eventually transferred to Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, where he was scheduled to undergo surgery on July 27.
Although veterinarians said they would normally amputate the dog's leg, the German shepherd has such advanced hip dysplasia that he would not be able to walk after such a procedure. So, doctors instead plan to reconstruct the animal's foot by “rotating what remains of his foot pad and repositioning it over the most weight-bearing part of the foot,” hospital officials said in a statement, reports the Boston Globe.
Maverick is expected to recover in hospital for 10 days following the surgery, and will then be put up for adoption.
The dog's owner, Kevin Kennedy of Middleboro, was charged July 19 with felony animal cruelty including neglect and failure to pursue necessary veterinary care, according to the MSPCA. He will be arraigned in Wareham District Court on Aug. 18.
The law enforcement officials who found Maverick said they discovered rope burns and scars on the dog's other legs, indicating that he had likely been tied up before.
"Clearly he had been entangled by his own leash many times in the past; unfortunately, he was unable to free himself this last time," Officer Chelsea Weiand told WFWT.
Dr. Mike Pavletic, head of surgery at Angell Animal Medical Center, expressed hope that the injured dog will be able to make a full recovery.
"He will get a second chance for a normal and pain-free life -- and if any dog deserves that, it’s Maverick," Pavletic told the Boston Globe.