Note: This story contains photos that may be distressing to some readers
Wednesday is International Dog Day, but for one poor pup rescued from a rural Manitoba community, there’s not much to celebrate.
Manitoba Underdogs Rescue said five-month-old lab-cross Starke, who was found by an RCMP officer, is suffering one of the worst cases of mange the organization has ever seen.
The volunteer group is raising funds to cover Starke’s veterinary care so he can eventually be adopted into a new home.
Manitoba Underdogs director Jessica Hansen called Starke’s condition “shocking.”
“We see a lot of tough cases doing the work that we do, but this little guy is particularly heart-wrenching. To think he was in so much pain is overwhelming.
“He’s such a sweet pup despite being in such bad shape.”
Mange is a skin disease in dogs caused by mites, which can cause intense itching, and leave affected dogs with open sores, hair loss, and scabs all over their bodies.
Hansen said her rescue is currently helping a dozen other dogs with various ailments, and that Starke’s long recovery means the vet bills are going to be considerable.
“Obviously when a case like Starke comes to us, we can’t say no, but we also start thinking about how we’re going to survive and get our bills paid,” she said.
Information on how to help is available on the Manitoba Underdogs website.