WARNING: This story contains images of a dog in a state of severe neglect that might be disturbing to some readers.
The Calgary Humane Society says it’s never seen a situation this bad — and wants to speak with the owner of a stray female shih tzu found in northeast Calgary on Sunday.
In the early morning, an individual on a walk found the senior dog along 32nd Avenue N.E. near the city bus depot between Ninth Street and 36th Avenue N.E.
“In this case, the physical condition of the animal, no reasonable person would look at the animal and say that’s not a problem,” said Brad Nichols, director of operations and enforcement with the society.
“So, the recklessness of keeping a dog in that condition, and the intent behind not correcting it, that could send it into criminal territory.”
The humane society said the dog had severely matted hair and was soaked with urine and feces. Her nails were overgrown and curled into the pads of her feet.
The person who found the dog brought it to an emergency veterinary clinic, which contacted the humane society.
The dog was taken to the humane society, where it was cared for and dematted.
On further examination, it was determined the dog was suffering from an infected uterus. That can be fatal to dogs if left untreated.
“This dog was incredibly lucky to have strayed and been found by this good Samaritan, as ultimately she got the care that she desperately needed to survive,” Nichols said.
The dog is recovering. Upon further behavioural testing, she may be rehomed, according to Nichols.
“We would definitely look at this and look for a Crown prosecutor opinion on what direction to go with charges, should we get to that point,” he said. “But this is some of the worst neglect I’ve seen.”
Nichols said the humane society has exhausted its efforts searching for the owner and is now asking the public to report any information that may help with its investigation.
The humane society is requesting the public call at 403-205-4455 with any information.