WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTO BELOW.
The search is on for the person(s) who earlier this week taped a dog’s mouth shut in North Charleston, South Carolina —leaving the pup to fend for herself.
Officials from the Charleston Animal Society now are looking after Caitlyn, a 15-month-old Chocolate Staffordshire Terrier Mix, who was discovered this week with her muzzle taped shut, reports WCIV-TV, the ABC News affiliate for the greater Charleston area.
The well-known stray dog in the Chicora Cherokee neighborhood turned up on a resident’s doorstep with electrical tape tightly wrapped around her muzzle and her tongue caught between her teeth. Officials say they believe Caitlyn was like that for up to 48 hours.
“Caitlyn is in a lot of pain, her condition is critical, and her prognosis is guarded,” Dr. Lucy Fuller, Senior Director of Veterinary Care at CAS, told the station Thursday. “A large part of her tongue may need to be removed surgically if the tissue dies from the lack of blood flow. She may be severely disfigured, or the large amount of dead tissue may cause life-threatening complications.”
On Friday, Caitlyn was taken to the emergency veterinary clinic in Mount Pleasant, and the Humane Society of the United States announced it was adding a reward of up to $5,000 “for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person responsible for taping a dog’s muzzle shut.” This will be added to the $1,000 CAS also is offering for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible.
Those involved in injuring Caitlyn will be charged with animal cruelty, according to the North Charleston Police department, and could serve up to five years behind bars.
To help Caitlyn and others like her, the CAS is asking for contributions to Toby’s Fund for medical care at CharlestonAnimalSociety.org.
UPDATE 6/20/2015: Police have arrested a suspect in the case. Read about it here.