Two puppies with mange, one so severe that its skin was peeling off, were dumped in a deep window well at Riverhead Animal Hospital, a case that carries a $2,000 reward from the Suffolk County Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The pit bull puppies were "near death" when they were dumped in a 6-foot-deep window well some time between midnight and 6 a.m. on Dec. 18, SPCA chief Roy Gross said. The two appear to be siblings less than 6 months old, he said.
The male puppy was in worse condition than the female puppy, and too weak to eat and drink. He's been getting intravenous fluids, the SPCA said.
"They said the skin, when it was picked up, was coming off their hands," Gross said. "It's a very, very severe skin disorder and from my understanding, very, very painful as well."
Mange is treatable, but it can take months for animals to be cured. The condition can be caused by several types of mites that live on the hair and skin, resulting in hair loss, skin lesions, itchiness, inflammation and even immune problems if the infestation is severe. It's highly contagious between animals and often humans.
"I would think they were severely neglected from birth," Gross said. "I want to apprehend the perpetrators for doing this. This had to have happened over a period of time. It doesn't happen overnight that animals will get in a condition like this."
"You just don't get used to this? How can somebody do that is a question that's always asked. I don't have an answer for that."
The SPCA is asking for donations toward the puppies' medical care.
Also, anyone with information may call them with confidential tips at 631-382-7722. The $2,000 reward is for the conviction of those responsible.