Officials with the Charleston Animal Society in South Carolina are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person, or persons, responsible for taping a dog’s muzzle shut and turning it loose.
CNN reports the dog — a 15-month-old Staffordshire terrier mix, named Caitlyn — turned up Wednesday morning on the doorstep of a North Charleston home with electrical tape wound so tightly around her muzzle that her tongue was stuck between her teeth, cutting off blood flow to her tongue.
The dog is a reportedly a well-known stray in the area but neighbors said they hadn’t seen her since Memorial Day weekend.
The person who found her took her to the Charleston Animal Society.
Officials there believe the tape was wrapped on Caitlyn’s muzzle for 36 to 48 hours. That could cause problems for the dog, said Dr. Lucy Fuller, the Senior Director of Veterinary Care at the facility.
“Caitlyn is in a lot of pain, her condition is critical, and her prognosis is guarded,” Fuller told WCBD News. “A large part of her tongue may need to be removed surgically if the tissue dies from the lack of blood flow. She may be severely disfigured, or the large amount of dead tissue may cause life-threatening complications.”
Aldwin Roman, the center’s Director of Anti-Cruelty and Outreach, said that it was hard to believe someone would “leave this dog in pain, unable to eat or drink and to now leave her in the position where her life is at stake because she may lose her tongue is heartbreaking.”
“This is the most malicious case of animal abuse I have ever seen in my entire career,” Rowan wrote on the center's facebook page.
Caitlyn’s treatment is being paid with money from Toby’s Fund, which is made possible by donations to the Charleston Animal Society, according to The Post and Courier.
North Charleston Animal Control is investigating the case.
Should a suspect be charged, the penalty for ill treatment of an animal, if convicted, is up to five years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine.
Photo Credit: WCBD News