Neglected dog found with mats, tumors; RISPCA offering $2K reward for information

A dog covered in matted fur and large tumors has been found in Central Falls, according to a non-profit organization that cares for abandoned dogs and cats. (Photo courtesy of Friends of Central Falls Animals)

A dog covered in matted fur and large mammary tumors has been found in Central Falls, according to authorities.

“I honestly am at a loss for words!” Charlene Gaffney of Central Falls Animal Control noted on the Friends of Central Falls Animals Facebook page Saturday afternoon, adding that the dog was seen wandering in a yard on Blackstone Street. “Officer (Robert) Matook was horrified to see the condition of the dog when he arrived on scene.”

Gaffney said she was informed about the animal, who she later renamed Treasure, and immediately took her over to Central Avenue Veterinary Hospital in Seekonk. While the clinic was closed, Gaffney said Dr. William Truesdale agreed to examine Treasure and gave her “a desperately needed haircut!”

“As he was working on her, her teeth were literally falling out,” Gaffney said. “Her mouth wasn't aligned and for a few minutes he was suspicious of a broken jaw, but it turns out her teeth were bothering her so much she couldn't close her mouth. Once they fell out, you could see she was far more comfortable.”

Treasure, said Gaffney, appears to be about 16 to 18 years old. The mammary tumors, she said, were likely caused by never being spayed. The dog’s body was also covered in matted fur.

“I can't begin to describe how matted she was,” Gaffney said. “The pain she must have felt is something I can't bring myself to think about. This case is literally making me sick. Doctor Truesdale said it's one of the worst cases he has seen in a long time. I felt it only right to give this little girl her identity right away. Everyone welcome CF's Treasure! One man's trash is another man's treasure.”

Gaffney said she wasn’t sure when Treasure had her last meal, considering the condition of her mouth. But the next day, a video of Treasure was posted to the page, showing her wolfing down food.

Still, Gaffney is horrified by the abuse and wants justice for Treasure.

“I need you guys/girls more than ever to make this post go viral,” she wrote. “Someone knows this dog and I want to know her former owner! This is NOT about trying to return the dog. This is about justice!”

The initial post was shared more than 2,000 times as of Monday afternoon.

Now, the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, as well as police, are involved. The RISPCA, which said Treasure was close to death when she was found, is offering a $2,000 reward for information "leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators of this clear and blatant act of animal cruelty.”

The good news, according to the RISPCA, is that Treasure was discharged from the animal hospital and “is safe in a foster home and is under the care of a veterinarian at this time.”

While Friends of Central Falls Animals said Treasure is not adoptable right now, that might change going forward.

If you want to make a donation toward Treasure's medical bill, follow the instructions below:

  • Call the clinic at 508-761-8525 to submit a credit card payment
  • Send a check -- made payable to William Truesdale, DVM -- to the police station in care of animal control at 160 Illinois Street in Central Falls, RI 02863

“If any money is taken in over the amount of Treasure's bill it will be added to the Central Falls medical account at the vet clinic to be used on the next dog or cat taken in,” a follow up post noted.

Contact the RISPCA at 401-438-8150 or the Central Falls Police Department at 401-727-7411 if you have information about Treasure’s former owner/s.

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