In Riverside, California, the owner of a “severely neglected” dog all tangled in his coat and infested with maggots that his owner claimed was dead, is alive and recuperating. The eight-year-old Lhaso Apso is currently under the care of veterinarians at the Western Riverside County Animal Shelter.
According to Riverside County Animal Services, on Monday afternoon the dog was rescued from a home on Irving Street. Spokesperson for the Department of Animal Services, John Welsh stated the dog’s owner, who has not been identified, called to report his dog had died and asked someone to come over and remove the dog’s body. When an officer arrived, the man had changed his story and stated the dog was not behaving as usual and refused to eat.
When the officer found the dog, she had been hiding under a bush; her coat was so matted together, the dog appeared to be “a clump of tangled hair.” The owner relinquished his rights to the dog, and she was rushed to the shelter for treatment. Veterinarians and technicians shaved away her coat, finding her paws had been stuck in the tangled mass of hair, and a cocoon of maggots had infected the entire area around her rectum.
“This dog suffered in this condition, and it’s just terrible to allow a breed of this type to go this long without proper grooming,” stated Sgt. Dylan Gates of Animal Services. “Grooming a Lhasa Apso is not just for looks. It is imperative to get the grooming done regularly to ensure the dog’s health too.”
The owner had not groomed his dog in a year. An animal cruelty investigation is now underway and charges are expected. The dog may be available for adoption after she recuperates or could be transferred to a breed specific rescue organization.
(Photos and video of severely neglected dog courtesy of Riverside County Animal Shelter)
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