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'It Breaks Your Heart': Upstate New York Man Charged With Animal Cruelty After Dog Chews Off Her Own Leg

ONEONTA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A man whose dog apparently chewed off her own leg is facing animal cruelty charges after the German shepherd was found chained in a central New York yard without food or water.

Carl Pritchard, 59, of Exeter, was charged Monday with cruelty and failure to provide food and shelter to his pet. It could not immediately be determined whether he has a lawyer yet.

A UPS driver reported seeing the dog, named Zoe, in a yard on Nov. 14 and told police it appeared its front leg had been "blown off," troopers said Tuesday. The dog had been living in a plastic pet carrier, had no food, and her water bowl was frozen, police said.

The Susquehanna SPCA took Zoe to a veterinarian, who did x-rays and found bones in her stomach. Dr. Joan Puritz at Oneonta Veterinary Clinic said the suffering dog apparently chewed off her front leg, which may have been diseased or injured.

"The dog was very emaciated," Puritz said Tuesday. "She may not have been getting enough nutrition. The leg was probably injured and she was trying to take care of it herself."

Zoe, who's about nine years-old, was taken to the Cornell University veterinary school for further treatment. Their staff determined a mass in the shoulder above the gnawed leg is likely cancerous; and she is also anemic and has a heart murmur.

"Her fight to survive has just begun because her missing leg is only one of many concerning medical ailments she is facing," Susquehanna SPCA said in a Facebook post on Friday.

"I've never seen anything like this," Puritz added. "It breaks your heart. She's such a sweet dog."

Zoe update: Our Executive Director took her to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Animal Hospital...

Posted by Susquehanna SPCA on Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The upstate New York animal group has started a fundraiser for Zoe, which is hoping to collect $5,000 for her medical bills and upcoming surgery at Cornell University veterinary school.

"With her age and other medical issues, she is going to continue to need your positive thoughts and prayers," Susquehanna SPCA added.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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