ACS looks for owner of nearly decapitated dog

Coaxial cable tightly wound around dog's neck

Published On: Dec 20 2012 05:56:07 PM CST

Animal Care Services cruelty investigators are looking for the owner of a dog that was found nearly decapitated by a coaxial cable tightly wound around his neck.

"It was very close to cutting his trachea and his jugular veins, according to our veterinarian," said Audra Houghton, an ACS cruelty investigator.

Houghton said the dog that was captured near St. Mary's University on Wednesday was two days from dying.

She said the cable was used to tie him up, until he chewed through part of it to break free, but it remained around his neck.

"This has to be one of the worst cases of an imbedded collar that we've seen," said Hugo Vital, a spokesman for the Animal Defense League, where the dog is recuperating from surgery.

Houghton said the dog was named Darnay, after the fictional Charles Dickens character in "The Tale of Two Cities" who was guillotined.

But unlike the novel, Houghton said the prognosis for the four-legged Darnay is good now that his neck wound has been closed and he's on antibiotics and pain medication.

Houghton said ACS has seen two other similar cases in the past month. She said a small Chihuahua was strangled to death by a cable around its neck.

"It wasn't fixed, so it slipped and tightened around the puppy's neck," Houghton said.

Another case involves Lucky, a boxer mix that was found with a dog harness so tight it cut deeply into his chest. He is undergoing treatment at ACS.

Houghton said all three cases are under investigation.

She said city ordinances prohibit using a rope or chain attached directly to an animal's neck, as well as improperly fitted harnesses or collars.

Houghton said the three were not accidents, but were easily preventable by buying an inexpensive dog collar and leash.

An ACS spokesperson said his agency often receives donations of collars that are available for a dollar.

Houghton said besides giving them food and water, it is up to owners to check their pets daily by simply slipping their fingers beneath their collars.

For a list of stories that Jessie Degollado has done, click here.