Who, age What Where When Last Known Address
Unknown abandoned a neglected dog

Fort Smith, AR

Sebastian County

November 5, 2001  
Type of Crime Other Crimes #/Type of animal(s) involved Case Status Next Court Date /Courthouse
Misdemeanor   1 5-7 year-old rottweiler Open  

The Sebastian 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.

Thornbrough 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.

Thornbrough 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."

The Humane 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."

Thornbrough 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.

Anyone who 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."

References: Southwest Times Record