After surgery, new home for neglected dog

Animal was found in Dorchester yard

A severely neglected dog found in Dorchester has survived operations to remove her blind eyes and tumors from her chest, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals announced Tuesday.

The dog, whom the shelter is calling Petunia, was taken to the MSPCA adoption center in Jamaica Plain on Oct. 2, after she was found dumped in a Dorchester yard, the MSPCA said.


Petunia’s fur was so heavily matted that she could not walk, her eyes were infected to the point of blindness, and her nails were so overgrown that veterinarians were not sure she was a dog, the MSPCA said in a statement.


Petunia, who is about 9 years old, was also severely emaciated.

Get Fast Forward in your inbox:
Forget yesterday's news. Get what you need today in this early-morning email.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Veterinarians shaved Petunia’s hair, trimmed her nails, and fed her until she gained enough weight for an Oct. 24 surgery, the statement said.

“This is one of the most severe cases of neglect I’ve ever seen,” Dr. Cindi Cox, an MSPCA veterinarian, said in the statement.

Cox believes Petunia was confined to a small crate for years, where she lived covered in her own feces and urine, the statement said.

A staff member who assisted Petunia when she first came to the shelter has decided to adopt her, the MSPCA said.


“I was struck by Petunia’s incredible will to live and, having played a role in getting her past the worst of her health issues, I knew I had to take her home,” the staffer, Katie Armour, said in the statement.

Melissa Hanson can be reached at or on Twitter @Melissa__Hanson.