Nanaimo dog owner faces cruelty charges

Puppy found with collar embedded in its neck

The B.C. SPCA will recommend animal cruelty charges against the Nanaimo owner of a seven-month-old German shepherd puppy found with a collar deeply embedded in its neck.

Leon Davis, manager of the Nanaimo and District SPCA branch, said a city animal control officer attended a Nanaimo house, found the puppy tied up in the backyard with an injury and brought it to Island Veterinary Hospital.

Staff then alerted the SPCA that a dog was taken to them for treatment of a severe neck wound caused by a collar that was about 10 centimetres too short to go around its neck. The dog was also underweight and malnourished.

The puppy, now known as Wilma, underwent surgery Tuesday to remove the collar and close the wound. It is recovering well, said Davis.

As far as SPCA officials can tell, the owner had a collar put on the puppy at an early age and that collar wasn’t changed as Wilma grew, he said.

“Over weeks and weeks, the collar just grew into her skin,” said Davis. “The wound was pretty large and open. There was a strong smell of blood and rotting flesh.”

The vet bills for Wilma’s treatment are expected to be more than $1,000 and the SPCA would be grateful for any help from the public to pay these costs, said Davis.

Donations can be made at www.spca.bc.ca/support or by calling the Nanaimo branch at 250-758-8444.

The SPCA now has legal custody of the dog and hopes to put Wilma up for adoption as early as next week, as it is always better for dogs to recover in a home, Davis said.

“She’s just the sweetest dog,” he said. “She’s just so happy to be getting attention from people. She really didn’t deserve this.”