Dog chews own leg off when left without food and water; Owner arrested as dog recovers


Zoe (New York State Police)

OTSEGO COUNTY, N.Y. — A man faces charges after his dog chewed off its own leg when left without food and water, New York State Police announced Tuesday.

On Nov. 14, thanks to a report from a Good Samaritan, police found Zoe, an older German Shepard, living outside in a plastic crate with hay inside. They say she had no food and no water.

Most horrifically, Zoe reportedly chewed off her own leg.

Carl K. Pritchard, 59, of Exeter, was arrested and charged with Agriculture and Markets Law overdriving, torturing and injuring animals, as well as misdemeanor failure to provide proper sustenance and failure to provide appropriate shelter for dogs left outdoors.

Susquehanna SPCA and veterinarians in Otsego County are helping Zoe to recovery while she stays at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

On Nov. 15, the Susquehanna SPCA began sharing the first of many updates on the dog’s condition on their Facebook page as they began to help her recover.

“Yesterday afternoon we received a report of suspected animal cruelty where a dog tied out to inadequate shelter looked like her leg had been “blown off” and was not receiving care,” the SPCA wrote.

The next day, the agency said Zoe was stable and getting a steady dose of pain medication and antibiotics.

A CT scan on Tuesday revealed good and bad news. They found a mass on Zoe’s should and chest, and while it was fortunately not cancerous, veterinarians determined it would need to be surgically removed through a risky procedure for her to survive.

Thursday, however, the SPCA shared more good news.

“We are patiently waiting on communication from Cornell with a detailed medical update but overall they say she is doing really well and expect that we can pick her up tomorrow,” the agency said.

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