HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A dog is recovering after it was brought to a Long Island animal shelter in “horrible condition” last week, the Suffolk County SPCA said.
A man found the Shih Tzu-type dog in an abandoned house in Lindenhurst and brought it to the Town of Babylon Animal Shelter on July 17, according to the organization.
It’s not clear how long the dog had been in the house. Roy Gross, Chief of the Suffolk County SPCA, said it may have been dumped there.
Neighbors said the last tenants moved out almost a year ago, but it wasn’t believed they owned a dog.
The dog was so matted and the nails so overgrown that the pooch could barely walk when it was brought to the shelter, Gross said.
“The dog looked like an old mop,” Gross told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall. “It’s one of the worst cases of matting…The dog obviously was suffering, it couldn’t walk well because of the matting.”
Workers spent three hours shaving off four pounds of matted fur from the 11-pound dog.
“You couldn’t even get — a flea would not be able to penetrate the matting on this dog. That’s how bad this was,” Gross told CBS 2’s Don Champion.
The dog is about 5 or 6 years old and has been named Ziggy. It will have to go through extensive physical therapy to learn how to walk properly again, the SPCA said.
“Quite literally every single one of his hairs were being pulled and twisted 24 hours a day,” said Dr. Patrick Maguire, with New York Veterinary Specialty Center.
Vets and staff at New York Veterinary Specialty Center are now helping Ziggy recover, Champion reported.
“We all want to see that this dog gets a good home and we also want to see this person brought to justice,” Gross said.
After another week or so of physical therapy and care, vets said Ziggy should be ready for adoption at the Babylon Animal Shelter.
A $2,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Suffolk County SPCA at 631-382-7722.
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