Neglected dog recovering after leg falls off

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: MCACC) (Source: MCACC)
(Source: MCACC) (Source: MCACC)
(Source: MCACC) (Source: MCACC)

A horribly neglected dog that was surrendered to a Phoenix shelter is being given a second "chance" at life.

Meet "Chance."

He's a 2-year-old Lhasa Apso that had been severely neglected and has lost a leg as a result. 

At a news conference Thursday, Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC) gave details of the horrifying and heartbreaking case.

[RAW VIDEO: MCACC news conference on animal neglect]

On October 27, a man came into the MCACC shelter to surrender his pet dog. 

"This dog was in terrible shape," said Jose Santiago with MCACC.

Santiago says the little dog's hair was so knotted and matted, no one could tell its breed or even its sex.

The dog needed immediate attention and shelter staffers began to do a "mercy groom," which simply cleans up the dog enough to get in shape to receive medical attention.

[RAW VIDEO: Chance the dog gets a "mercy groom"]

While the vet was performing the mercy groom, she found a leg injury, which was covered in maggots and layered with matted hair. As the vet removed the knotted fur, the dog's leg actually fell off his body.

"At that point, when the veterinarian was performing the mercy groom, she realized that this dog had a leg injury and that leg injury had maggots attached to it as well," said Santiago. "In conjunction with the maggots and leg injury, this dog had a lot of knotted hair around this leg, and while she was performing this mercy groom, the limb physically fell off the dog."

The vet said she had never seen anything like it.

"Our veterinarian said she had never experienced anything like this before," said Santiago. "She had never seen anything like this in her career."

A woman, who didn't want to be identified, says her son turned the dog in two weeks after he wandered into their yard.
"He was homeless," she said. "I seen him, he was like hoping and matted." "He was already neglected."
The woman decided to keep him, bathe him and feed him, but ran into issues. 
"He wouldn’t let me cut his hair. He would try to bite me," she said.
"I feel bad, I tried to help him and I just couldn’t."

The dog was taken to an urgent care hospital in Carefree, where vets performed a proper amputation of his leg.

Two Pups Wellness Fund is helping with medical expenses.

The dog had another name but has renamed "Chance" to symbolize his second chance at life. "We're hoping that somebody out there will give him a second chance at not only having a nice life, but a loving life."

Santiago says Chance is now doing very well, and is up, alert and walking around.

But he is still, understandably, very, very timid.

"We don't exactly know what all he's been through in his very young life," said Santiago. 

He will spend some time in foster care, so he can heal, and also get used to love, care and attention: things he may not have experienced before. After that, he will likely be placed up for adoption.

"A lot of times people think abuse is the physical act of hitting an animal or the physical act of starving an animal, but abuse comes in all shapes and all forms. When you're talking about the fact that this is a long-haired breed dog that appeared to have never seen any type of grooming, that is a form of neglect that leads to a form of abuse."

Phoenix police are investigating and will determine if any charges will be filed in this case.

When we went to the home of the person who turned in the dog, family members told us the dog had come to them in that condition as a stray, and that they had only had him for about two weeks.

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