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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)– It is one of the most alarming cases of animal neglect St. Louis has ever seen:  a dog with injured and infected legs, chewed off one of its own paws. Then, someone left it to die at the Humane Society of Missouri door on Macklind in West St. Louis, around 8:00am on Saturday.

HMSO offered a $1000 reward for information leading to the dog’s owner.  They also released heartbreaking photos in an effort to solve what is certainly a case of neglect. Investigators weren’t sure whether abuse or an accident caused the dog’s initial injuries.

The staff named the dog, Pepper. She was a 2 year old female Dalmatian mix. She’s been euthanized.

A veterinarian found her, tied to a door handle at a side entrance, cowering, unable to stand. She was left there with no tags, no chip, no bedding, and no chance to survive. Investigators said the bones in her feet were crushed; gangrene had spread far into her rear legs; her rear knees badly wounded rom dragging them for perhaps a month or more.

“I can only imagine how terrified she was,” said investigator, Anne Vincent, of the HSMO’s Animal Cruelty Task Force.  “We know there was a traumatic incident that caused the original injuries of the broken bones in the feet.  What caused the gangrene, we don’t know.”

“The injuries were serious enough that pepper actually chewed off her own paw, her right paw was chewed off.  That’s due to a canine’s instinct to relieve itself of dead or dying tissue.  It sounds horrificbut it was an absolutely egregious, horrific case,” said HSMO President, Kathy Warnick.

“That type of suffering no one wants to see,” Vincent said, a lump in her throat.

Surveillance pictures show vehicles moving through the parking lot around 6:30-7:00am on  Saturday.  They do not show anyone actually leaving Pepper at the Humane Society.

“We’re supposed to be there to protect these guys.  They don’t have a voice.  We want to know this little girl’s story and what happened and what brought her here,” Vincent said.

Pepper had spots like a typical Dalmatian, but they were faint.  She also had blue eyes, a sign of she may have been deaf.

If you have any information, call HSMO’s Animal Abuse Task Force at (314) 647-4400.


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