Image may be distressing to some viewers
(Published by Cayman News Service, June 2018)
Volunteers from a local animal welfare organisation, One Dog at a Time, say they were shocked by the abuse that a small dog rescued by their group had suffered.
A tiny Yorkie-mix named Virtue, rescued earlier this week and now under the care of the charity, was found by a ODAAT supporter last week.
Severely malnourished with infected open wounds and badly matted fur, Virtue weighed just six pounds, half the weight she should be, when the organisation took her in.
Volunteer and co-founder of ODAAT, Paula Wythe, described the incident as one of the worst cases of animal abuse the organisation has dealt with to date.
“She had not been fed properly and had been bitten by a big dog at least five days prior to her rescue,” Wythe said. “Her wounds were infected and she was completely matted as she had not been washed or groomed in ages. Her legs have no muscle as she has not been exercised.
“She has been at the vets since we got her, and with the operations we are anticipating it will cost around $2,500. Virtue’s recovery will take time as she needs regular food and is in a lot of pain,” Whyte said.
“We are encouraging people to share her story and help us raise awareness. We are requesting that people report neglected dogs and other animals when seen straight away to the Department of Agriculture.”
Virtue, who is estimated to be around 7-years-old, has since been released by Island Veterinary Services where she was treated. Her matted fur has been removed and she is being treated with intravenous antibiotics.
Once the dog is in a stable condition she will undergo an operation to treat her wounds, remove her teeth, which are rotten due to lack of care, and remove a lump in her arm pit. She will also be spayed.