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Dog Owner Arrested After Starving, Wounded Pet Chewed Off Her Own Leg While Living Out In The Cold, Authorities Say

"The leg was probably injured and she was trying to take care of it herself," veterinarian Dr. Joan Puritz said of 9-year-old Zoe. Carl Pritchard, the pooch's owner, faces an animal cruelty charge. 

By M.L. Nestel

An Upstate New York man was taken into custody and charged after authorities say his thirsty, starving and wounded German shepherd gnawed her left leg off.

Carl Pritchard, 59, was arrested and charged with animal cruelty on Monday after his dog, Zoe, was spotted by a UPS worker chained to a stake in his yard on Nov. 14, appearing as if her leg was “blown off,” reported Buffalo station WIVB.

After delivering a parcel nearby, the UPS worker encountered 9-year-old Zoe, allegedly stuck in a plastic pet carrier lined with hay, with a snow-covered water dish nearby that was frozen.

New York State Police Troopers confirmed that Zoe was “with no food and water, living outside in a plastic pet crate with hay inside,” according to a summary that was accompanied by a photo of the recovering pooch. 

Authorities confirm Pritchard was hit with various charges, including torturing and injuring animals as well as failing to provide sustenance or appropriate shelter. 

A veterinarian at the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) performed an X-ray and found bone fragments in Zoe’s stomach, believed to be her own. 

Zoe Nysp

“The dog was very emaciated,” Dr. Joan Puritz of Oneonta Veterinary Clinic told WIVB, noting she was likely suffering from some kind of injury or disease. “She may not have been getting enough nutrition. The leg was probably injured and she was trying to take care of it herself.”

Pritchard surrendered after he was unable to pay for Zoe’s mounting vet bills, according to the television station. 

She has since been looked after by the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. 

A fund was established for Zoe’s recovery, which is estimated to run around $5,000. 

Cornell doctors conclude that Zoe “is anemic, has a heart murmur and very likely has cancer,” according to an online post by the Susquehanna SPCA

Pritchard is expected to appear in court on Dec. 4, the station reported. 

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