Police: Chained and abused dog chewed off her own paw

Zoe was found missing a limb. Veterinarians believe she chewed off her own paw because she was chained outdoors. (New York State Police/Susquehanna SPCA)

A three-limbed dog that was found chained in a yard in central New York last week likely chewed off her own paw out of desperation to escape and find food, officials said.

A UPS driver saw a German shepherd chained to a stake in the yard of a home in Exeter, in Otsego County, on Nov. 14, 2019. The driver called Susquehanna SPCA and said the dog's front left limb appeared to be "blown off," police said.

Susquehanna SPCA responded to the property and rescued the dog, named Zoe, and rushed to the Oneonta Veterinary Hospital for help, police said.

"Veterinarians told troopers they believed that Zoe had likely chewed off her own leg after they observed bone fragments in her stomach," the New York State Police said. "She also had previous untreated injuries and scarred ear tips."

Zoe had been living in a plastic pet carrier lined with hay and had no food, police said. A nearby bowl was frozen and covered with snow.

"Her fight to survive has just begun because her missing leg is only one of many concerning medical ailments she is facing," Susquehanna SPCA said in a Facebook post. "[We are] going to do everything we can to ease Zoe's pain and show her compassion and a more peaceful life that she deserves."

Susquehanna SPCA transferred Zoe to Cornell University Animal Hospital for further care. The vets there said that Zoe is anemic, has a heart murmur and very likely has cancer.

"The good Samaritan who called this situation in was outraged and scared for Zoe," Susquehanna SPCA said, referring to the UPS driver. "They did exactly the right thing by calling our line and we want to praise them for their heroic act."

New York state troopers arrested and charged Zoe's owner with several animal cruelty and neglect charges, authorities said. He agreed to legally surrender Zoe because he cannot pay for her care, officials said. He is due back in court on Dec. 4.

Susquehanna SPCA is asking the public for help in paying for Zoe's medical bills, which have ballooned to more than $5,000.

This article was reported from New York City.


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