CLEVELAND - Vets at the Animal Protective League are trying to save a dog found with her collar on so tight that it was imbedded in her neck, 19/43 News' Wendy Gillette reported.
The APL vets are calling the dog "Faith" because they have faith that she'll make a full recovery.
Faith, an adorable Chow-Shepard mix, is between 9 months and 1 year old. She endured a tough, 3-hour neck operation on Thursday.
APL Director Matt Granito, who has picked up abused and neglected animals for 10 years, said that Faith (pictured, above) had one of the worst injuries that he had ever seen.
"It's sickening to think people could see these injuries and let it go on so long," Granito said.
Granito said that he is still determining if Faith's wound is a result of cruel neglect or just a case of a puppy running away early in her life. Whatever the case might have been, a collar had circled her neck for most of her young life, and as she grew, the collar became so tight that it dug into her skin.
"You can see the skin is already meshing together," Granito said as he petted Faith. "The collar was in there very deep."
Dr. Susan Metz operated on Faith for more than three hours Thursday afternoon, removing the collar and treating the widespread infection.
"Everything went well with the surgery," Metz said. "Everything took place. We're really happy and excited that the animal went through the surgery safely."
Granito found Faith in a vacant field at East 63rd Street and Quincy Avenue. Someone who lives in the area alerted the APL, but no one knows who owned the dog. Neighbors, however, sure do want to find out.
"I'm 82 years old, and it's just something terrible to see anything messed up -- dog, cat or whatever," neighbor Inezis Lightning said.
Granito said he is just relieved that he was able to get help for Faith, renewing his faith that with a lot of TLC, any animal can flourish.