On July 12th, an animal control officer discovered a long-haired German Shepherd in a backyard in Middleborough, MA. According to the Boston Globe, the officer rushed the emaciated dog to a nearby animal clinic. What the officer found on the dog was devastating.
The dog, named Maverick, had chewed off his own back foot in an attempt to escape from a tether. After later being brought to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Angell Animal Medical Center, it was determined that Maverick had been caught in the tether for at least 24 hours.
“He chewed off all of his toes on his back right foot,” Alyssa Krieger told CBS Boston. “I’ve been working here for 6 and a half years … this is the most disturbing thing I’ve ever seen. Just clear-cut, horrible abuse.” Krieger is an employee at the MSPCA, where Maverick will undergo surgery.
Typically when an animal sustains a similar injury to Maverick’s, the entire leg would be amputated. But Maverick suffers from hip dysplasia. This is a condition that results in instability or a loose fit in the hip joint, according to the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. If Maverick were to have his leg amputated, he could never walk again.
So instead, Maverick’s foot will be reconstructed. This will be done by “rotating what remains of his foot pad and repositioning it over the most weight-bearing part of the foot,” according to an official statement. Dr. Mike Pavletic is the head of surgery at the MSPCA and will perform the procedure.
“This is the only option before us that ensures Maverick’s foot can sustain normal wear and tear,” Pavletic told the Boston Globe. “He will get a second chance for a normal and pain-free life — and if any dog deserves that, it’s Maverick.”
When Maverick was brought in for initial examination, veterinarians found that his legs were covered in scars. Officials state that this indicates prolonged abuse and frequent tethering of Maverick. But despite the prolonged abuses, Dr. Pavletic tells WCVB that Maverick is in good spirits, stating that he’s active and playful. “I’m not sure the average person with this type of injury would be doing the same thing,” Pavletic said.
WCVB reports that the dog’s former owner, Kevin Kennedy has been charged with one count of felony animal cruelty due to neglect and failure to seek appropriate veterinary treatment for his dog. The Boston Globe states that he has an expected arraignment date of August 18th.
Though justice for Maverick is being served and the brave dog is on the mend, his future is still somewhat uncertain. The surgery Maverick must undergo costs $5000, a steep price for a non-profit organization like the MSPCA. Donations are being accepted to help with the cost of surgery. All who are interested in donating can do so on the MSPCA website.
Once surgery has been completed and Maverick has rested for 10 days, it will be time to look to the future. Maverick will be up for adoption. The brave German shepherd will be seeking a good home that will give him all the love and care he deserves. For anyone interested in adopting Maverick, you can contact the MSPCA for more information.