SPCA suspects dog with bone cancer ate its own leg off

PHOTO COURTESY OF SUSQUEHANNA SPCA

The Susquehanna SPCA rescued a dog Thursday afternoon after a concerned citizen called in saying the animal looked like its leg was “blown off.”

Posted: Nov 15, 2019 2:30 PM
Updated: Nov 15, 2019 6:09 PM

EXETER, N.Y. -- The Susquehanna SPCA rescued a dog Thursday afternoon after a concerned citizen called in saying the animal looked like its leg was “blown off.”

Stacie Haynes, executive director of the SPCA, says they found 9-year-old, Zoe, a German shepherd, at a residence in Exeter where she was tied out to what was described as “inadequate shelter.” She was, in fact, found without a front leg.


PHOTO COURTESY OF SUSQUEHANNA SPCA

“Her fight to survive has just begun, because her missing leg is only one of many concerning medical ailments she is facing,” said Haynes in a post on Facebook Friday.

After an evaluation, the veterinary team came to the conclusion that Zoe ate her own leg off.

"We suspect that she has bone cancer, and so one theory, is that she was in so much pain from the cancer, she ate it off. And we know that she ate it because we did X-rays and there are bones in her stomach," said Haynes.

Otsego County 911, New York State Police, Heritage Veterinary Clinic, Oneonta Veterinary Hospital and Anita Vitullo of Staffworks all assisted with Zoe’s rescue and treatment.

Haynes says the dog appears to be thin but not emaciated, and food was seen nearby when they picked her up. Haynes says the dog's water dish was frozen over. 

The owner agreed to let troopers take Zoe to be treated. Haynes says they are still investigating this as a case of suspected animal cruelty and are looking into the circumstances leading to Zoe’s state when she was retrieved.  She says this is the first incident they’ve had with the owner.

For now the dog is being treated and observed as she tries to recover. 

"Right now, Zoe, the dog, is stable. She's eating, she's drinking, her temperature is down. So, we want to be very optimistic that she's going to pull through," said Haynes.

Zoe's treatment expenses may be in the thousands, and the SPCA will use donations to offset that cost. Donations can be made at: sqspca.org.

Haynes said the SPCA doesn’t normally share details of these situations with the general public, but she wants to commend the person who reported Zoe’s condition, and encourage others to do the same if they ever encounter a similar situation.

The Susquehanna SPCA can be reached at 607-547-8111 or www.sqspca.org.

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