Authorities are still searching for whoever left an emaciated, flea-covered miniature poodle tied to the front gate of Smithtown Animal Shelter two weeks ago.
The dog, named Chip, is recovering at the VCA Hauppauge Animal Hospital, Roy Gross, chief of the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said at a news conference Tuesday at the hospital.
“This is one of the worst cases that I’ve seen of neglect in my 33 years of experience in the Suffolk County SPCA,” Gross said. “No animal should be treated or have to suffer as this dog has.”
Around 7 a.m. on Aug. 2, someone used an oxygen tube to tie the small dog to the front gate of the shelter, Gross said.
When the hospital opened at 9:30 a.m., staffers discovered the flea-covered poodle, which had an eye infection, anemia and rotting teeth from chewing out portions of its fur to remove some of the fleas.
Chip was brought to the Hauppauge veterinary hospital, where he will remain for at least 10 more days, veterinarian Leigh DeGeorge said.
No one has been arrested, but the SPCA has a description of a suspected involved vehicle that was captured in a blurry photo near the shelter at the time Chip was tied up.
Gross said he could only speculate about the significance of the oxygen tube used to tie the dog and whether the person who left the dog also was its owner.
Because of Chip’s initial condition, the dog was thought to be brown and nearly 14 years old, but rescuers later discovered it was white and only about 6 or 7 years old.
DeGeorge estimated that it would have taken at least four weeks for Chip to have reached the emaciated, neglected condition he was found in.
Once Chip’s health is better, the dog will be put up for adoption at the nonprofit A New Beginning Animal Rescue, said Susan Hanson, director of the Smithtown Animal Shelter.
Gross said the dog’s new family will be carefully vetted to ensure that similar neglect is not repeated.
The SPCA is offering a $2,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the person responsible for Chip’s neglect.
All calls to the SPCA at 631-382-7722 will be kept confidential, Gross said.