SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A dog left untreated for more than a week after a paw was severed has recovered and is now healthy enough to be adopted, the San Diego County Department of Animal Services reported Friday.
A neighbor who thought the terrier mix had a broken leg called the department last week, and the owner told responding county officials that the canine was struck by a vehicle around Christmas.
It turned out that Solei's right rear leg was severed below the ankle. The owner said he couldn't afford veterinary treatment, department officials said.
"After 15 years, it's very rare I get upset about many calls, but the second I saw her I was infuriated," said county Animal Services Lieutenant Mitchell Levy. "The dog must have been in excruciating pain and the owner had numerous options other than leaving her to suffer for days."
Levy said she would have eventually died from infection if not treated. County veterinary staff was forced to amputate the rest of the dog's leg the day after she arrived at the county's animal care facility on Gaines Street.
Despite her injury, Solei is sweet, loving and outgoing. She's recovered to the point where she can walk well on her three legs, according to the county.
Potential adopters can fill out the applications online at www.sddac.com/docs/Special_Adoption.pdf. They can be dropped off at any of the three shelters, mailed or faxed to (619) 767-2706.
The deadline for submittal is Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 5:30 p.m.
County Animal Services will review the applications and the top five candidates will be contacted on Jan. 26. The finalists will have a chance to meet with Solei and from there, officials will have a drawing to pick the lucky winner.
Meanwhile, department officials have submitted an animal cruelty charge against the owner to the District Attorney's office. A second person may also face charges.
If convicted, each defendant could face up to three years in prison, a fine of up to $20,000, or both.
People who can't afford to care for their pet can contact county Animal Services at (619) 767-2675 to get a referral for help from different resources.