Beaten puppy found abandoned in Calgary; abuse suspected

CALGARY HERALD | NOVEMBER 4, 2009

By Stephane Massinon, Photograph by: Ted Jacob; Calgary Herald

CALGARY – The Calgary Humane Society suspects animal abuse after an injured pup was left outside a veterinary hospital in a kennel that was covered in blood.

The young Doberman was abandoned late Tuesday in the parking lot at the Calgary North Veterinary Hospital.

Humane Society spokeswoman Lindsay Jones said the dog’s injuries may be life-threatening.

“Unfortunately, we do see these cases come through our doors, but this is unusual in that it’s such a young pup and his injuries are quite severe and there’s no explanation for them,” said Jones.

The agency hopes to find out who or what was responsible for the injuries.

Vets have been working to stabilize the Doberman and get its fluids up, Jones said.

It has suffered a broken front leg and trauma to his head.

“It’s heartbreaking for each and every staff member,” said Jones, who added she fought back tears when saw the injured pup.

“We are doing our best, and he is improving, but his condition is still guarded.”

The pooch is thought to be three months old, and because it is so skinny, there are concerns it was being neglected. If it survives, the pup will need extensive care and rehabilitation, the humane society said.

Dr. Drew Van Niekerk, co-owner of the Calgary North Veterinary Hospital, said the animal had to have been dumped because it could not have walked on its own.

The Doberman will undergo surgery, at no charge for the operation, which would normally cost $3,000. Van Niekerk believes it will likely survive.

“We’re all dog lovers and cat lovers here, and it’s hard on staff when they have to face the realities of people who are less than responsible,” said Van Niekerk. “Unfortunately, in a 24-hour busy emergency practice, we get to see this stuff too often.”

He worries that when stories like these arise, some people may feel it’s OK to dump an unwanted or injured animal at their doorsteps.

“It’s important to realize that regardless of any circumstances, a pet owner’s responsibility . . . is to do the right thing. I know that life is complicated, but animals don’t deserve this kind of thing,” said Van Niekerk.

The humane society’s peace officers are investigating the case and believe the injuries were likely inflicted by someone. Peace officers are able to lay charges of animal cruelty and neglect under the Animal Protections Act of Alberta, Jones said.

Heather Anderson, founder of the Daisy Foundation, said the case “makes me sick to my stomach.”

Anderson said she hopes people with information about the case will come forward to authorities.

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