BC SPCA say a seven-year-old mastiff is lucky to be alive after being found emaciated and left out in the cold on a Hope property.
In a release Friday, the SPCA said they attended the Fraser Valley property on Dec. 20, along with RCMP when they discovered the mastiff, named Handsome, tethered on a heavy chain surrounded by ice and snow.
A bucket of water, frozen from ice, was nearby, the SPCA said, as well as a wooden doghouse without insulation or bedding.
“This poor boy was visibly shaking – he’s so thin, his bones are clearly visible, with very little to no body fat the dog is unable to maintain its body heat,” says BC SPCA senior animal protection officer Eileen Drever.
Handsome was rushed to the vet, where he received care that’s expected to exceed $4,000.
The vet found Handsome emaciated with a body condition score of one out of nine, an important measurement of a dog’s weight, disease and nutrition.
Drever said it is impossible to comprehend how anyone could allow a dog to be chained up, in such frigid winter weather conditions.
“We rescue thousands of animals from heartbreaking situations every year at the SPCA, but cases like this are particularly shocking,” she said.
As temperatures dip to zero and below across the province, the SPCA cautions pet owners to keep their animals safe by bringing them indoors.
If left outdoors, owners should ensure pets have a place to shelter from the cold with warm, dry bedding as well as food and water that isn’t frozen over.
The SPCA is investigating and will likely be recommending charges of animal cruelty against Handsome’s former owner.