CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Caitlyn, a rescued dog that was found in the Chicora neighborhood last week with electrical tape wrapped around her mouth, is resting after getting laser therapy on her tongue Saturday.
Officials at the Charleston Animal Society say she's been taken off of IV fluids and can now eat on her own.
A veterinary specialist helped to treat Caitlyn's tongue in an effort to get back to good tissue to save her from having to loose much of her tongue.
Dr. Klein said the more of the tongue doctors can save, the better quality of life Caitlyn will have.
Officials with the Humane Society of the United States say they are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for taping a dog's muzzle shut in North Charleston. Charleston Animal Society is also offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for injuring 15-month-old Caitlyn, a chocolate Staffie mix.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Aldwin Roman with the Charleston Animal Society at (843) 329-1545.
Kimberly Kelly, South Carolina state director for The HSUS, said: “Caitlyn is a friendly dog who may have suffered for days and is now fighting for her life. Anyone capable of such a heartless act of cruelty should be held accountable, and we hope this reward will encourage anyone with information to come forward.”
Caitlyn appeared on a person's doorstep in North Charleston Wednesday morning with electrical tape wrapped around her muzzle. The stray dog is well-known in the Chicora Cherokee neighborhood and is regarded as being friendly, according to CAS.
Officials say Caitlyn's tongue was stuck between her teeth, stopping the blood flow to her tongue.
According to a veterinarian, her muzzle was likely taped shut for 36 to 48 hours.
“A large part of her tongue may need to be removed surgically if the tissue dies from the lack of blood flow," said Charleston Animal Society Senior Director of Veterinary Care, Dr. Lucy Fuller, DVM. "She may be severely disfigured, or the large amount of dead tissue may cause life-threatening complications."
Officials say Caitlyn is doing well given her condition, and will be transferred Friday to a specialty care center to continue treatment.
North Charleston police are investigating the incident.