Severely emaciated dog ate rocks to survive, SPCA wants to ID owner

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WARNING: This story contains graphic images that may be upsetting to some readers.

The BC SPCA is turning to the public for information about a severely emaciated dog found last month in Maple Ridge.

A female Siberian Husky was brought to the Maple Ridge SPCA on January 31 by a Good Samaritan who found the dog wandering near 256th and 128th streets.

The dog was visibly in distress, estimated to be about one or two years old, weighed a mere 15 kilograms upon intake. Normal weight for a dog of her age and breed is about 24 kilograms, according to the BC SPCA.

With no tags to identify the dog, she was dubbed “Willow,” and the SPCA set to work first helping her, and next, turning to the public for help in identifying her owner or owners, in an attempt to determine how she came to be, as the SPCA describes, “severely emaciated.”

“She has been assessed with a score of ‘one’ on the canine body conditioning scale of one to nine, meaning that she is severely malnourished,” says BC SPCA senior animal protection officer Eileen Drever.

Drever points out that when Willow first came into their care, she had trouble lying down, because her gastrointestinal tract was full of rocks and soil.

“There were no food remnants in her stomach so we think she was eating gravel to try to stay alive,” remarks Drever.

WARNING: The images below are graphic and may be upsetting to some readers.

Willow 1

Through round-the-clock care at the hospital and now the shelter, Willow is slowly regaining strength. “She was barely able to walk when she came in. Her muscles are still very weak and she sometimes loses her balance but is now able to walk nearly a block with support,” says Drever.

Willow close upWillow, close up, at Maple Ridge SPCA (Photo courtesy BC SPCA)

The BC SPCA’s Cruelty Investigations Department is asking that anyone who recognizes this dog or who knows anything about this case to please contact the BC SPCA’s animal cruelty hotline at 1-855-622-7722 immediately.

Featured image: Photo: ME659/Flickr

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Lindsay William-Ross Lindsay is a Senior Editor at Vancity Buzz, and currently runs the site's Food section. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she spent the last two decades in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city's top blog, earned her MA, attended culinary school, and was an English professor (among other things). Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancitybuzz.com
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