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Dog Requires Surgery From Apparent Abuse, Neglect

Animal Care Services

San Antonio's Animal Care Services is now tending to the medical needs of a puppy found roaming on the side of a local highway.

Surgery will be required for the dog, named "Shooter" by ACS.

Shooter was found along 410 and Highway 90. ACS’ Lisa Norwood says Shooter was roaming around until picked up by a Good Samaritan.

It wasn’t long before the staff at ACS noticed a huge gash in Shooter’s neck, along with a safety pin.

"It looked like the dog had had a collar at some point,” Norwood said. “That collar was put on when the puppy was small and just never adjusted to accommodate the puppy's growth. As a result, as the puppy got bigger, the collar got smaller and smaller and eventually grew into the puppy's neck, along with that safety pin that's now stuck in the puppy's neck itself."

After surgery and medication, Shooter will need time to recover from the ordeal. Norwood said he may have to go to a foster family. It will be several weeks before he’s ready to look for a permanent home, Norwood said.

Although San Antonio’s animal abuse and neglect cases don’t appear to be growing, Norwood said there is more awareness of the issue. People responsible for the abuse face a range of punishments, from a misdemeanor to a state jail felony, Norwood said.

"It's just very cruel. It's very, very sad. It speaks to the lack of understanding about the commitment needed to take care of a pet,” she said.

“When you get a pet, you don't just do one vaccination. You don't just put on one collar. It's a series of commitments. It's a lifetime commitment to that pet."

People who cannot take care of their pets can turn them in to a number of shelters around town, but Norwood said often times there is a waiting list and a fee associated with surrendering a pet.

If a pet is returned in a neglected or abused state, Norwood said, giving the dog up does not absolve a person of any legal ramifications.

Ryan Loyd was Texas Public Radio's city beat and political reporter. He left the organization in December, 2014.