(Madera Tribune - DJ Becker) Clover, the young poodle mix dog found tied to a post with an embedded rope as a collar, died Tuesday night from complications of Tetanus. The dog was thought to be recovering well in a foster home when he took suddenly took a turn for the worse.
The suffering, matted and filthy dog was reported December 19th by a good Samaritan in the 300 block of Harding Street, according to authorities and was seized and taken into protective custody by the City of Madera Animal Control.
Animal control officers said the year and a half old male dog had been neglected, starved and tied to the post for a long time with a rope deeply cutting into his neck for months, if not longer. The rope had likely been placed on the dogs neck when he was a puppy, and never loosened or checked, they said.
City of Madera animal control Officer Chelsea Ruble, who found and rescued the dog, compared the act of neglect and cruelty to torture.
"The dog was found on a chain about a foot and a half long. The wound from the (embedded) collar was around his entire neck... I don't know how he survived (in this condition) ... outside in these temperatures. That's torture, to me," Ruble said.
The dog was reportedly the second animal seized from the home for neglect or cruelty in the last two years, according to police reports.
Kirsten Gross, director of Madera County Animal Services said the dog had been recovering in a foster home but became critically ill on Christmas eve, and was taken to a pet emergency facility in Fresno.
"He was making good progress in the foster home, but his neck wounds were very deep. On Christmas eve he began having symptoms resembling seizures and stiffening of the muscles. He was diagnosed as the early stages of Tetanus, and they started the treatment," Gross said.
Tetanus, also known as lock jaw, is not all that common but is a serious, systemic bacterial infection that results from deep wounds that are contaminated, she said.
"He was hungry but couldn't eat. A feeding tube was inserted and he began to improve. He fought really hard and a day or two later he was standing ... but even with the treatments his condition deteriorated. He just didn't have anything left ... to fight any more. Tuesday night he took a turn for the worse - with neurological symptoms - more rigidity and infection. The vet agreed the kindest thing to do at that point, was to end his suffering," Gross said.
Gross said the Tetanus and death was the direct result of the wounds caused by the embedded collar and she hoped the owners would be held accountable.
"This suffering could have been easily prevented with a collar from the dollar store and appropriate care (of the dog)," said Gross.
"At least he spent a few days in comfort - in a loving foster home. He was improving, and he was safe and warm inside. He had treats and toys, kindness and love. He had his first bath and a clipping. It's just very sad," Gross said.
"Please report any cases of suspected animal cruelty to authorities immediately, as soon as you see them. Don't wait," Gross said.