The Arizona Humane Society on Wednesday clarified why it euthanized a dog found with “intentionally-caused” injuries along the Beeline Highway in July.
The dog was found July 19 near the Beeline Highway and McDowell Road, Silent Witness spokesman Sgt. Jamie Rothschild said.
A Good Samaritan took the dog, which did not have a collar or microchip, to the Arizona Humane Society. A veterinarian found the circulation on the dog’s front paws had been cut off for an “extended period,” Rothschild said.
“I’ve been here almost nine years and this is probably one of the saddest cases that I’ve ever seen,” Arizona Humane Society spokesperson Bretta Nelson told The Republic on Wednesday.
After the dog was brought to the humane society, it was rushed to the organization’s Second Chance Animal Trauma Hospital, Nelson said.
The dog’s bones and tendons on its front paws and legs were exposed. The trauma hospital team put the dog on various medications, wound care treatments and laser therapy to no avail, she said.
Amputation would have been an option if only one of the dog’s paws was injured, but the staff determined that it would be challenging for the dog to have a “healthy, successful” life as a double amputee, Nelson said.
“It became apparent to us that there was no way we were going to be able to fix his paws due to the level of pain he was in and because he wouldn’t have a quality of life, our vets put him to sleep,” Nelson said.
The dog was under the care of the humane society’s trauma team for five days prior to being euthanized.
A necropsy found that the dog’s injuries had either been caused by strangulation or a sharp object but that they were “definitely human-caused,” Nelson said.
A handful of readers reached out to The Republic after its initial story to question why the humane society euthanized the dog.
Nelson said she understood why there may have been questions about the decision to euthanize, because less details about the extent of the dog’s injuries were known at the time of that article.
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Ultimately, Nelson said the humane society wanted to end the dog’s suffering once they determined no more could be done.
“This is a really, really hard case for all of our staff — we don’t make these decisions lightly,” she said. “It weighs very heavily on anyone how someone could do this to such a beautiful pet.”
Nelson said the trauma hospital treats about 12,000 animals per year.
Anyone with information on the incident can contact Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS (480-948-6377) or 480-TESTIGO (480-837-8446) for Spanish speakers. Tips can also be submitted at silentwitness.org.
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