Metro

Dog chews off part of paw to escape tether

Maverick the dog.

MSPCA

Maverick the dog.

A dog chewed off part of his paw in an effort to escape after his owner allegedly left him injured and entangled on a leash for at least a day, in what the MSPCA called “one of the most egregious cases of neglect we’ve seen,” officials said.

The owner of the dog, Kevin Kennedy of Middleborough, was charged July 19 with felony animal cruelty for neglect and failure to pursue necessary veterinary care, according to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. He is expected to be arraigned in Wareham District Court Aug. 18.

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The 2-year-old long-haired German Shepherd, named Maverick, was found at Kennedy’s house in Middleborough on July 12 by an animal control officer, who rushed him to a nearby animal clinic, according to a statement from MSPCA-Angell.

An MSPCA law enforcement officer took the dog to the organization’s Angell Animal Medical Center, where officials said they found rope burns and scars that suggest the dog had been entangled in a leash many times. The dog was most likely tethered and unattended for at least a day before injuring his right rear paw.

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Animals with injuries similar to Maverick’s would ordinarily undergo a leg amputation, but the pelvic dysplasia that Maverick suffers from has advanced to a point where he would not be able to walk after such a procedure, officials said.

Dr. Mike Pavletic, head of surgery at the MSPCA hospital, plans to reconstruct a functional foot by “rotating what remains of his foot pad and repositioning it over the most weight-bearing part of the foot,” officials said in a statement.

“This is the only option before us that ensures Maverick’s foot can sustain normal wear and tear,” Pavletic said. “He will get a second chance for a normal and pain-free life — and if any dog deserves that, it’s Maverick.”

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Maverick is expected to recover for up to 10 days after the surgery, scheduled for Wednesday, and will then be put up for adoption.

Olivia Quintana can be reached at olivia.quintana@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @oliviasquintana.
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