Two suspects who abandoned a dog and left her chained up behind a Walmart store are being sought by Detroit police. A week ago on Sunday, a mix breed dog was freezing so much, she chewed off her paw and ate it in order to survive the brutal cold, according to a Detroit Press news report. It’s being described as a heinous case of animal cruelty.
Courtney, a pit bull/beagle hybrid was found by employees near Gratiot and 12 Mile in the early morning hours. The dog was attached to a leash which was wrapped about her body, likely due to a struggle for the animal free herself. A further look revealed a ghastly sight: the dog’s left paw was missing and her leg mangled.
— Diana Romanos (@romdia) January 25, 2015
Animal control officers arrived a short time later. Additionally, Melanie Wittner director of Roseville’s Hopeful Heart Rescue, was called to help with the delicate situation. Wittner and a team of vets evaluated the injuries and determined that the freezing dog chewed off its paw as a means of survival.The 2-year-old breed also consumed it, perhaps out of hunger or as part of an instinct to prevent predators from arriving and seeing it as an easy meal.
“It’s pretty bad for a dog to be left alone and chew off her own foot. It’s not the absolute worst I’ve seen, but it’s up there.”
— FOX 47 News (@FOX47News) January 26, 2015
Surgery was performed to amputate the left hind leg as a precaution in order to prevent systematic infection from setting in. The crumpled canine’s stomach also had to be drained to remove bone fragments from the consumed paw.
Although the dog was left to die in the cold, the freezing temperature were somewhat of a lifesaver because it preserved the mangled limb after the paw was chewed off. Diana Rascano, president and co-founder of 4 Paws 1 Heart, cared for the rescued dog after the operation. Her group was generous enough to pay for Courtney’s surgery after the dog chewed off her own paws.
“We had no idea if the dog had a legitimate amputation or what the situation was. We discovered that she had actually chewed her paw off. The leash, it was like a cable, it was very thick and had tied around her leg and actually acted as a tourniquet.”
Today, the adorable animal is recovering, but still requires medical care. Meanwhile, she is being prepped for a good home through adoption. The good news is that a number of offers have already come in.
Not surprisingly, even after being abandoned and traumatized by being left in the freezing cold and resorting to chewing off her paw, Courtney is a happy animal, according to Wittner.
“Her tail won’t stop wagging and she won’t stop giving kisses. It’s like she’s so appreciative that she wants to express it every minute she’s with us.”
Police used surveillance footage from the Walmart store to partially identify two male suspects. They appeared to be very familiar with the abandoned dog and are possibly the owners. On the men who left the dog chained up in the frigid temperatures, only to have her chew off her paw to escape, police ask for the public’s help in fully identifying them.
[Image via: SpeedwayVet]