SMITHTOWN, New York (WABC) --The Suffolk County SPCA is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in a disturbing case of animal cruelty.
Chief Roy Gross said a severely neglected dog was tied with an oxygen tube to the front gate of the Smithtown Animal Shelter on Tuesday.
The male miniature poodle, between 8 and 10 years old, was emaciated and in critical condition, covered with fleas, and his eyes were filled with discharge.
"He's weak, he gets tired very easily, he has a low red blood cell count because of the fleas," Dr. Leigh DeGeorge said. "He's infected with a tick disease...(but) he loves to be held, loves to be cuddled."
The dog was transported to Hauppauge Animal Hospital to receive emergency veterinary care. Chip, as he has been named by staff, is anemic from the flea infestation, and his eyes are being treated.
"It's unfortunate, because we understand how all of it could have been avoided with simple medical care," Dr. Leigh DeGeorge said. "It was heartbreaking to see, but it's these cases that are sometimes the most rewarding."
Dr. DeGeorge says she'll have to remove most of his teeth because of decay, but that his overall prognosis is good.
"As long as he can put on weight and his body can take care of the anemia, we should have a good outcome," she said. "When I saw him on the table, I went in my office and cried. It was a sad thing to see."
Chip's will be adopted by a supervisor at the animal hospital.
"We're all in love with him," employee Kelly Veneventano said. "And happy he's still going to be in the family."
Anyone who recognizes the dog is urged to contact the Suffolk County SPCA at 631-382-7722. All calls will be kept confidential.