By Jeanne Starmack
A badly injured dog who was found wandering is expected to be at the vet’s for weeks, said a Mercer County humane agent.
Even when he is released, he will have months of follow-up care for burns over more than 50 percent of his body, said agent Renee Dorogy.
What apparently is a horrific story of abuse will have a good ending, however. Someone in Sharon already is committed to adopting the dog, which the Mercer County Humane Society is calling Chance.
When a city police officer found the 14-month-old hound mix, however, it was clear the dog had been through a terrible ordeal.
The officer found Chance around 12:30 p.m. April 10 on Vine Street not far from the post office and the Penn State Shenango campus, Dorogy said.
Chance, who should weigh between 50 and 55 pounds, weighed 32 pounds, she said.
Fur and skin were missing, and three of his teeth were broken.
The officer could find no one in the area to tell him anything about the dog — he was discovered near some abandoned buildings a few blocks down from the Penn State campus, and the area was deserted.
Dorogy said she still doesn’t know for sure what caused the dog’s injuries, which the vet estimates happened about five days before the officer found him. She said a laboratory is conducting tests to determine if the burns were from a caustic substance or from scalding water.
Chance will have surgery every few days at the Hermitage Veterinary Clinic to remove pieces of dead skin, she said.
She said she often visits the dog at the vet’s, where he’s in good spirits and “eating tremendously.”
“He’s happy all the time,” she said.
The dog even wagged his tail for his rescuers the day he was found, though he must have been in terrible pain from his burns and infections, she said.
The Mercer County Humane Society is offering a $500 reward for information that leads to a conviction in the case. Call the humane society at 724-981-5445.
Donation’s toward the dog’s vet care can be made to the Humane Society, P.O. Box 1046, Hermitage, Pa., 16148, or to The Hermitage Veterinary Clinic, 1500 N. Hermitage Road, Hermitage, Pa., 16148.