ORANGEBURG COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Orangeburg County authorities are investigating a potential animal abuse case after a dog was found in a ditch Friday afternoon with apparent strangulation lacerations.
Monday Officer Dana Lang with Orangeburg County Animal Control said the dog, named Haley, was found along Big Buck Boulevard in Orangeburg, and later taken to Veterinary Specialty Care in Mt. Pleasant Friday night.
"I'm told nobody saw anything," Lang said.
Veterinarians with the Specialty Care said Haley has chronic strangulation lacerations to her hind legs.
"They looked like more of something had been creating pressure, or strangulation for a long time, causing the skin to die and left a ring on both sides and on one of the legs the wounds extend down the leg," said Dr. Henri Bianucci, co-owner of the center.
Lang said material that may have been used to create those injuries was not found when Haley was picked up.
Among the first treatments she had at the care center was for the cuts on her hind legs.
"We've cleaned the wounds, gotten all the dirt and debris out of there because she likely sat in the ditch for a long time," Bianucci said. "There's a lot of dirt and debris that's in the wound that you want to try and take away slowly."
The process is done through wet to dry bandages, according to Bianucci.
"The bandage is applied and then peeled off on a daily basis to take layers of contamination with it," he added.
An update Monday afternoon from Joy Davis, with Lowcountry Animal Rescue, said Haley's wounds appear to be getting better. Bandage treatment will likely continue over the next few days.
From there, vets will determine the best option for Haley when it comes to closing those wounds on her legs.
Bianucci believes some sort of 'creative closure' and good old mother nature healing time will be the best option.
Haley has also received hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which is used to help crush injuries to the skin. Staff is also working on getting her weight up.
"She was malnourished," Bianucci said. "Whatever was going on in her life, she wasn't receiving calories. She's severely underweight, but looks better now compared to how she looked when she came in."
Local animal groups including Lowcountry Animal Rescue, Pet Helpers, and Humane Net have collected $2,000 for a reward to anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people involved.
"The dog is so sweet and didn't deserve what happened to her," Davis said.
Bianucci said there was no microchip or identification on Haley when she was brought to the center. He estimates the dog is around one-year-old.