Maybe Star will have better luck with her next owner. The friendly, 1-year-old German shepherd is recovering this week after a rope, used as a leash, caused severe injuries to her neck. (WARNING: Some users may find images with this story disturbing. Discretion is advised.)
The rope was wound so tightly it became embedded in the dog’s body.
“The dog continued to grow and the rope didn’t,” Erie County dog warden Barb Knapp said.
Veterinarians had to surgically remove the rope.
An anonymous donor is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for Star’s mistreatment.
The dog’s rescue began when members of the Schill family spotted her running loose at a farm in the 5000 block of Homegardner Road.
Jerry Schill said his children, Julia, 14 and Jack, 9, asked if they could try to figure out who the owner was. The kids returned with the dog in tow.
“At first, I was going to try to cut the rope out,” Schill said. “It was just awful, the smell, the stench. I realized we couldn’t even see the rope at the bottom of the neck.”
The family put Star in a barn, where the children fed and watered her until the dog warden arrived.
As soon as she got to the scene, Knapp knew something was wrong.
“I realized I could smell rotting flesh,” she said.
She saw a blue-and-white nylon rope, much like those used by water skiers, around the dog’s neck.
“Underneath the muzzle it was totally embedded. You couldn’t even see it,” Knapp said.
Knapp took the dog to the dog pound and gave her food and water. The next day she called Firelands Animal Hospital, which often treats the shelter’s dogs.
Veterinarian Dr. Marianne Socha immediately agreed to help. The dehydrated dog was given fluids and the rope was removed in an operation.
“She’s doing great,” Socha said. “She’s in good spirits. She’s eating and drinking well.”
Socha, who is donating her services to help Star, said she plans to keep the dog for most of the week so she can make sure the bandages on Star’s big, oozing wound are changed frequently.
When Star gets back to the county dog pound, Knapp is hoping to find a foster family to take good care of her as she recovers.
“The dog is really friendly,” Knapp said. “Wags her tail, licks your face.”
Want to Help?
The Erie County Dog Pound is seeking donations to help care for Star as she recovers. Donations may be dropped off at the dog pound, 2900 Columbus Ave.