County Humane Society is asking for the public's help in solving an animal-cruelty
case that Humane Society staff members are calling the worst they have ever
seen. "I've seen some very, very nasty things in this job, and I've
never seen anything like the condition this dog was in," said Aaron
Thornbrough, animal cruelty investigator for the Humane Society.
said the Humane Society was notified on Nov. 5 that an extremely ill dog
had been found lying on a couch in front of the Salvation Army Thrift Center
at 900 N. 32nd St. in Forth Smith. The animal was picked up by the
city's animal control officer and delivered to the Humane Society's animal
shelter. The dog was a male Rottweiler about 5 to 7 years old.
said the dog was suffering from red mange that had gone untreated for so
long that much of his skin had rotted away, exposing muscle and tissue.
"He was basically decomposing from the outside in," Thornbrough
said. "Fifty percent or better of his epidermis was necrotic."
Society staff named the dog Trooper because of the extreme suffering he
had been through. Thornbrough said the veterinarian who examined Trooper
was surprised that he was still alive. A staph infection had spread throughout
Trooper's body. There was a hole in his left shoulder that was "completely
filled with maggots," parts of his ears had rotted off, his front toes
had rotted off, his front legs were swollen, he was emaciated, he had severe
dysplasia in both hips, his hind legs had atrophied, and his eyes were infected
to such a point that blindness was imminent, Thornbrough said.
When he arrived
at the Humane Society, Trooper was unresponsive and probably was not feeling
any pain. Before getting to that point in his illness, however, he must
have experienced "almost intolerable pain," Thornbrough said.
The Humane Society had no choice but to have Trooper put to sleep. "It
was very emotional," said Humane Society worker Tessa Freeman. "You
just don't see too many cases come in like this. It's just devastating that
anybody could do this to an animal."
is trying to locate the dog's owner. A choke chain was found around Trooper's
neck, apparently indicating that he was chained up at one time. Thornbrough
said he also believes someone would have had to take Trooper to the Salvation
Army store and place him on the couch, because the dog was barely able to
move on his own. The owner had to have known that the dog was ill, Thornbrough
said, noting that Trooper looked and smelled as if he had been "dead
for days." "This in my opinion is an animal that was not neglected,"
he said. "This is an animal that was tortured." The dog is believed
to have been abandoned sometime in the early morning Nov. 5.
has information about the case is asked to call the Humane Society at 479-783-4395.
"Somebody had to live next door to this dog," Thornbrough said.
"If you lived next door to a male Rottweiler that was obviously unhealthy
and that is now gone, please call us."
Southwest Times Record