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Dog chews own paw off to escape after owner allegedly left him tied up for days

Click to play video: 'Dog chews own paw off to escape after owner allegedly left him tied up for days' Dog chews own paw off to escape after owner allegedly left him tied up for days
WATCH ABOVE: Alyssa Krieger, the adoption center manager at MSPCA-Angel, talks about the pup and the deplorable condition in which he was discovered. – Jul 28, 2016

*WARNING: Some of the details in this story are graphic and may not be suitable for all readers. Discretion is advised.*

A two-year-old German shepherd is recovering after taking drastic steps to escape its allegedly negligent owner.

Animal control officers in Middleboro, Massachusetts seized the pup, named “Maverick,” on July 12 after they found him emaciated, abused, and suffering from a serious injury to his back right paw.

According to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA), the injury was a result of Maverick chewing his own paw off to escape his leash after allegedly being left unattended by his owner for some time.

“This is one of the most egregious cases of neglect we’ve seen and our first priority is to gather the resources necessary to treat him—then we will do all we can to find the caring home he deserves,” Alyssa Krieger, the adoption center manager at MSPCA-Angell, said in a press release.

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Animal control officers immediately sedated Maverick upon finding him so he could be rushed to a nearby clinic to treat his grievously-injured back leg. It was there veterinarians discovered he was covered in rope burns and scars that had healed over, indiciating this wasn’t the first time he had allegedly been tethered up and left to fend for himself.

“Clearly he had been entangled by his own leash many times in the past; unfortunately he was unable to free himself this last time,” MSPCA Law Enforcement Officer Chelsea Weiand said.

Based on his emaciated condition, officials believe Maverick may have been left unattended for days or even weeks before he managed to free himself.

“He chewed off all of his toes on his back right foot,” Krieger told CBS Boston. “I’ve been working here for six and a half years. This is the most disturbing thing I’ve ever seen. Just clear-cut, horrible abuse.”

Normally veterinarians would amputate a leg in such poor condition, however the nature of Maverick’s abuse means amputation of the damaged limb is not an option.

“His pelvic dysplasia has advanced to the stage that he simply wouldn’t be able to walk if we took his leg off,” said Dr. Mike Pavletic, head of surgery at MSPCA’s Angell Medical Center in Boston.

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Instead, Dr. Pavletic plans to rotate what’s left of Maverick’s paw, then reconstruct the part of his paw that will bear the most weight.

“This is the only option before us that ensures Maverick’s foot can sustain normal wear and tear,” Dr. Pavletic said. “He will get a second chance for a normal and pain-free life—and if any dog deserves that, it’s Maverick.”

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On July 19, police charged Maverick’s previous owner, Middleboro resident Kevin Kennedy, with one count of felony animal cruelty and one count of failure to pursue necessary veterinary care.

Once Maverick has recovered from his surgery he will be put up for adoption. The MSPCA says they have already received over a thousand offers to adopt him.

The MSPCA has begun an online crowdsourcing campaign to raise the money needed to cover the procedure. According to the MSPCA’s Facebook page, they have raised nearly $60,000 so far, surpassing their original goal several times over.

They say the remaining money will be donated to SpIke’s FunD, which is used to cover the cost of caring for animals in the organization’s adoption centre.

Anyone looking to donate to Maverick’s cause can do so here.

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