On Friday, a teenager who rescued a German shepherd mix suffering from what shelter officials in Riverside County called “extreme neglect” officially adopted the dog whose life he saved.
The dog, now known as “Rosie” suffered from what was commonly referred to as an “embedded collar.”
“The neck of the dog, essentially, was constricted for such a long period of time that the dog’s fur has disappeared and all that remains is dying skin tissue,” according to John Welsh, a spokesman for the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.
Ernesto Perez found the dog sitting in the middle of Pepper Drive near Perris earlier this month.
The 19-year-old felt sorry for the dog and offered her some food, Welch stated.
Perez said he didn’t realize how bad she was injured until he got a close look at her.
“Honestly, I thought her head was going to come off — that’s how deep it looked,” Perez said. “It’s crazy. I have never seen anything like that. I don’t know how anyone could let a dog get like that.”
Staff members at Riverside County Animal Services discovered that Rosie had a shoelace still wrapped around her neck, which resulted in serious necrosis of her neck tissue. She was likely in severe pain too, Welsh said.
While Rosie was recovering, Perez never stopped thinking about the dog. He called the shelter to inquire about her health and asked if he could visit her, according to Welch.
On Friday, Perez officially adopted Rosie, saying he could give her a better life.
A reward was still being offered for information on the person who abused Rosie. Anyone who may know the former owner was asked to contact Riverside County Animal Services by phone or e-mail: 951-358-7387 or firstname.lastname@example.org.