Man arrested after dog found in 'disturbing' condition

Contributed photo Zoe, a German shepherd rescued in Exeter, is shown after treatment in this photo supplied by New York State Police.

State police said they have arrested an Exeter man in connection with the case of a German shepherd found with a missing leg.

According to a media release, Carl K. Pritchard, 59, was charged on Monday, Nov. 18, with the Agriculture and Markets Law violation of overdriving, torturing and injuring animals; failure to provide proper sustenance, a misdemeanor; and failure to provide appropriate shelter for dogs left outdoors, a violation.

Troopers from Richfield Springs reported they responded to a complaint of alleged animal cruelty at a residence on county Route 22 in Exeter on Nov. 14. They said a UPS driver making a delivery observed a dog whose left leg appeared to be missing and described it as “blown off.”

The Susquehanna SPCA responded to the scene and a local veterinarian was contacted.

The dog, named Zoe, was immediately taken to a clinic. A veterinary technician noted that the dog had been chained to a stake in the yard, living in a plastic pet carrier with a small amount of hay on the bottom and had no food and another bowl that was frozen and snow covered, according to the release.

Veterinarians reportedly told troopers they believed the dog had likely chewed off her own leg after they observed bone fragments in her stomach. She also had previous untreated injuries and scarred ear tips, the release said.

Zoe was cared for by veterinarians in Otsego County and later transported to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine for further care.

Troopers said Pritchard surrendered the dog because of his inability to pay for any vet bills. He is due to appear in the town of Exeter court on Dec. 4.

The Susquehanna SPCA got a call about the dog Thursday afternoon, Nov. 14, SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes said last week. 

“It was traumatic for everybody involved,” she said. “Really, it was a very disturbing scene.”

Sara Haddad, shelter manager and a licensed veterinary technician, said the dog was thin, her shoulder was swollen and the leg was completely missing.

The shoulder area was “meaty,” like it had been pulled at, Haddad said.

“I would say any number of reasons she would have torn her leg off for should have been addressed before she tore her leg off,” Haddad said, “whether she was starving or in pain.”

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