Starving Dog Tied Up With No Food Or Water Chews Off Her Own Leg

WARNING: This story deals with very disturbing descriptions of animal abuse.

Animal lovers around the world are heartbroken by the story of a poor dog named Zoe. This sweet girl has literally been through hell after her owner left her to starve while chained to a crate in the yard. According to reports by The New York Times, vets believe that this abused dog was so hungry, that she actually tried to chew off her own leg!

Thankfully, this tragic story does have some justice. In New York City, her former owner, 59-year-old Carl Pritchard, was charged with animal cruelty and failure to provide Zoe with adequate food and shelter. Zoe had been previously noticed by a UPS worker who passed the Exeter home and saw that the German Shepherd was clearly in anguish.

According to reports by the police, the UPS driver reported the incident to authorities, stating that the dog had severe damage to her leg. Sadly, 9-year-old Zoe was left outside to live in a plastic pet crate! She had no access to food and her food dish was just covered in snow.

After being rescued, Zoe was transported to the Oneonta Veterinary Clinic. Vets were horrified as they made the determination that she’d been gnawing at her own front leg.

As Dr. Joan Puritz said, “The dog was very emaciated. She may not have been getting enough nutrition. The leg was probably injured and she was trying to take care of it herself.”

Zoe was then transferred to the Cornell University Veterinary School for additional care.

Dr. Puritz added, “I’ve never seen anything like this. It breaks your heart. She’s such a sweet dog.”

According to the Daly Mail, while Zoe is recovering, there is still the question of her vet bill – as her medical treatments are easily costing in the thousands of dollars. Zoe also appeared to have had a mass growing on her shoulder, which vets worried was cancerous. However, a CT scan put everyone’s mind at ease after it revealed it was only a fatty tumor. The hospital removed it, and Zoe managed the surgery just fine.

Susquehanna SPCA had previously stated, “The surgeons say they believe they were able to fully remove the mass and successfully amputate her leg. The next 24 hours are critical as she will be monitored coming out of anesthesia and is at risk for bleeding. The goal is for her to leave the hospital on Friday or Saturday.”

Given Zoe’s age, heart murmur, and anemia, experts acknowledged that these were “all very serious issues to be managed during a risky procedure.”

Several people did come forward to offer donations towards Zoe’s recovery.

“This chance to survive and live a peaceful life is made possible by the many caring people who have contributed to her care,” the SPCA commented.

New York state police have revealed that Zoe’s owner, Carl Pritchard, was arrested and given several charges which include torturing and injuring animals, as well as failing to provide shelter.

The police released a statement saying, “Veterinarians believe she chewed off her own arm, she was found with no food and water, living outside in a plastic pet crate with hay inside.”

Regardless of her horrid circumstances, her story impacted people. There were several requests to adopt Zoe. However, any adoption interests will need to go through the standard adoption counseling process that is enforced by the Susquehanna SPCA.

As the organization had stated, “For Zoe, because we know so little about her, we will be requiring her adopter to have no other animals and no small children. She will need lots of quiet time and patience. Additionally, she will continue to have medical needs that will require visits to a veterinarian.”

Poor Zoe. We hope her luck continues to turn around. As for her former owner, I’m sure we can all agree that we hope karma gets him good.

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Anastasia is an American ex-pat living in Ireland. When she's not writing she can be found wandering the Irish countryside in search of inspiration. You can follow her writing adventures on Twitter @AnastasiaArell5 or Instagram @writeranastasia26
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