Photos of an abused dog that was left “almost lifeless” near an irrigation canal near Plainsburg Road in Le Grand are causing an uproar online and in Merced’s pet-loving community.
According to witness reports, the Australian shepherd mix was found in poor condition with a rope tight around his neck. Tammy Hanley, a volunteer with Last Hope Cat Kingdom, an animal rescue group in Atwater, received a call from a friend about 8:30 pm. Saturday.
The daughter of Hanley’s friend had found the injured dog. Hanley was able to pick up the dog about an hour later. The dog had been tied up to a tree and was bleeding around the neck, Hanley said. “He was in really bad shape; he couldn’t stand up at all,” she said.
Hanley took to the dog to Renate Schmitz, the co-owner of Last Hope Cat Kingdom, who immediately cleaned the dog. Taking a closer look at his neck, Hanley and Schmitz saw that the dog had what seemed to be bite marks under his coat. According to Schmitz, the dog was likely used as a bait dog for dogfights.
“It was one of the most disgusting things I’ve seen,” Hanley said. “We saw he had a big hole on his neck … he soaked an entire bath towel with blood.”
Blu Bear, the new name given to the dog by rescuers, is in a foster home, but because of all the attention his story has received in the community, a permanent home has been found for him, rescuers said.
Travis Mask-Fuentz first posted pictures of the dog on Facebook. She is a volunteer at Last Hope Cat Kingdom and works at Sierra Gateway Veterinary Clinic in Merced, where Blu Bear is being treated. Her post has received a lot of attention, she said. “People are just outraged,” she said. “People have been asking me how they can help and what they can do for Blu Bear.”
Mask-Fuentz said anyone who wants to help can do so by donating to the organization’s PayPal account. The link is found on the Last Hope Cat Kingdom’s Facebook page. Funds gathered will be used for Blu Bear’s treatment. Last Hope is taking care of the bills but appreciates any help, Mask-Fuentz said.
According to Mask-Fuentz, rescuers are working with Merced County Animal Control.