Veterinary staffers in Boca Raton, Florida, saved a Shih Tzu that someone threw over a fence and into a dumpster. The dog was covered in nearly two pounds of hair, infested with maggots, and near death.
The staff captured images of the animal to document its condition and, hopefully, its recovery.
The person who tossed the dog over the fence was never identified, and it is unclear exactly what led to the dog’s condition.
“‘Her hair was cemented to her skin, her nails so long they were wrapped around her paws and wounds so old they were filled with maggots,” the staff of Tri-County Humane said on their Facebook page. “The smell is something I will never forget.”
Staff members needed to shave the animal before they could effectively treat its wounds and provide further aid. It took five staff members more than two hours, with clippers and scissors, to snip and buzz away the dense, matted fur. The animal’s fur was so thick that it actually burned out several electric clippers in the process.
With all the hair and filth removed, the dog was two pounds lighter.
The vets then tackled tending to the dog’s wounds, which had been festering with maggots. The team cleaned and closed the wounds, but were unsure if the dog would survive the night.
“We didn’t know if she would make it through the night,” the shelter said on its Facebook page. “‘Her tiny body had been through so much neglect and torment, for so many years, but she did.”
The dog did survive, however, and appears to be recovering well. The vet staff said their next step is working with local law enforcement to find who dumped the animal in their dumpster, as they suspect other animals in their care are likely facing the same kinds of abuse and neglect.
Dr Lindsey Naimoli, the vet who treated the dog, told WPBF that she thought the dog had likely been kept caged and forced to breed for most of its life based on its condition.
“It would be extremely rare to just have one animal treated horribly. I think this is one of many,” she said.
The dog, which the vet staff named Parker, could not walk when it first arrived, but a later update showed that the animal had started hobbling around in the grass at the shelter.
The vets believe that Parker will fully recover and will be available for adoption potentially as early as September.