FREEPORT, Nassau County (WABC) -- The Nassau County SPCA and other animal authorities wants to find the person who abandoned a severely injured dog.
The man was captured on surveillance camera dropping the dog, who rescuers named Athena, at the Bobbi and the Strays animal shelter in Freeport around 4:45 a.m. on July 7.
"I opened the crate door, the poor dog couldn't even hold its head up," rescue center employee Richard Flynn said. "So I held her head up."
Veterinarians say Athena has a long road to recovery in front of her, as she is extremely thin and has sores on her body.
It's presumed the sores are from being confined, possibly for months, officials said.
"How does this happen? Really, how does this happen?" Flynn said. "When you see it firsthand, it just really kills you."
Doctors at the Howard Beach Animal Clinic speculate that Athena was barely being kept alive for months in a small crate.
"Once she gets a little bit more stable and a little bit healthier, then we'll actually be able to surgically repair them," Dr. Ashley Davis said. "But this is something that's definitely been going on for some time."
Officials said it was one of the worst cases of neglect and abuse they've encountered.
"This is probably one of the worst muscle mass wasting I've ever seen," Dr. Davis said.
Athena is a mixed breed and about 5 or 6 years old.
"These injuries and now the medical records we have tell us a very clear story," Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly said. "Athena suffered greatly, and we need the public's help in finding out who did this to her."
You can donate to her care at BobbiAndTheStrays.org.
The Nassau County SPCA is offering $5,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for her abuse.
"What else is going on in that house?" said Gary Rogers, with the SPCA. "Are there children in that house? Are they being taken care of?"
Anyone with information is asked to call the Nassau County DA's Animal Crimes unit at 516-571-7755, option #8.
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