MADERA -- Another small dog was found running loose with a collar deeply cutting into its neck, according to animal shelter personnel.
The dog with the embedded collar was recently found near Pacific Drive, off of Western Way and Road 28 1/2 in north Madera and was turned in to the shelter by a Good Samaritan.
The 2-year-old female dog, a brown Chihuahua mix about 20 pounds is friendly and used to people, and has been named Missy by volunteers.
Kirsten Gross, director of the Madera County Animal Shelter said the small, thin and helpless dog was in reproductive heat and had likely been tied a long time in attempts to contain her.
"She was probably tied at the end of a chain with the collar too tight - for six months or more, I'd say. It's such a torturous thing for an animal to be tied. They are social animals and need to be with their families or their packs, and do dog things - like explore, play, sniff and run. Tying dogs out causes all kinds of unhealthy and bizarre behaviors in dogs, like pacing and other repetitive motion disorders. It's a very sad thing for any animals to be isolated and tied," Gross said.
It's illegal in California to tie or chain a dog out to a tree, post or other single point, unless it is placed on a cable type run between two points and has adequate room to move and has shade, water and shelter, according to Gross.
Gross said it was not uncommon for a dog to continue to injure itself through pulling, pacing or other repetitive motions if continually tied on a chain and ignored.
Chained dogs can even have difficulty adjusting to a free ranging life, without a chain, she said.
"It's awful. They pace and are conditioned to .... and are looking for the (familiar feel of the) end of the rope," Gross said.
This dog had escaped or was released just in time as the collar had already cut through the skin and began to cut deeply into the dog's flesh and the surrounding muscle tissue had begun to turn necrotic and die, according to Gross.
"Once the collar is removed and the infection is under control they can make a pretty good recovery. It would have been so simple to just get another larger collar at the dollar store, or let the dog off the chain," Gross said.
Gross said the dog will have a scar from the collar injury but she was making a good recovery in a foster home, and would be placed up for adoption once she recovers and is spayed.
"She needs a home with someone that won't put her on a chain, obviously. Someone with patience, and that will share some time with her and will allow her to become part of their family - instead of something just chained in a back yard," Gross said.
Gross said anyone witnessing animal cruelty or animals in bad conditions should contact authorities immediately.
Anyone with information on Missy's origin or interested in adopting her should contact the Madera County Animal Shelter at (559) 675-7891.
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