A hybrid dog found Thursday in a Babylon Town house survived 38 puncture wounds and seven slashes to the upper part of her body, a case with several mysteries, the Suffolk SPCA said.
"Somebody tried to use her as a pin cushion," said Det. John Caracci of the Suffolk County Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which got a home-alone tip about the dog. "I was so mad."
But the white dog, a Maltipoo, which is a cross between a Maltese, a toy dog, and a poodle, showed no sign of distress and was wagging her tail when she went up to rescuers, who had opened a rear sliding glass door to get her out, Caracci said.
She looked healthy, except for a little blood on the back of her neck, he said: "We didn't know whose blood it was."
But when town shelter workers began shaving her, they spotted slashes on her head, Caracci said. The longest was more than half an inch, he said.
The dog, a 3-year-old female, was taken to a Farmingdale veterinary hospital, where she was fully shaved and 45 "fresh" but "superficial" stab wounds were discovered, SPCA officials said. The slashes were all on her head and the puncture wounds along her back and right side of body, Caracci said.
"We tried to rack our brains on what kind of weapon could have done it," the detective said, "we're still trying to figure it out."
He said he went back to search the yard for a potential weapon and blood but found neither.
"It doesn't make sense," SPCA chief Roy Gross said. "There doesn't seem to be a lot of things clear right now."
Authorities did not enter the house but the investigation is ongoing, Caracci said.
Gross declined to name the community where the house is located, citing the investigation.
Caracci said it appeared someone had been living in the house and the room with the sliding glass door was "unkempt," cluttered with all sorts of household items. When rescuers opened the door, the smell was overwhelming, he said.
The veterinarian said the Maltipoo was not dehydrated and it was unclear how long she had been left alone, Caracci said.
The dog spent the night in the animal hospital before going back to the shelter, Gross said.
Maltipoos are known for their silky hair and can cost anywhere from $400 to more than $1,000.
Caracci said he spent more than an hour at the veterinarian's office playing with the dog: "She loves giving kisses. If I ran, she'd follow me."
Gross said the dog was renamed "Miracle" because she lived through her abuse and because a family that just lost a similar type of dog is ready to adopt her.
Anyone with information may call the SPCA at 631-382-7722.