Dog Chews Own Leg Off

9:01 PM, Apr 7, 2008   |    comments
Investigators rescued Panda and took her to a vet, who amputated the rest of the St. Bernard's leg.
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A Madisonville, Tennessee dog owner has been charged with animal cruelty after investigators say his Saint Bernard gnawed off her own leg to escape an entanglement with a wire cord.

Rescuers have now dubbed the dog "Panda."

Last Tuesday, a tip led them to the home where they found Panda hobbling around on three legs.

"It's probably one of the most horrible animal cruelty cases I've seen," said Nancy McEntee, an animal cruelty investigator for Monroe County.

McEntee believes Panda became entangled in her collar and wire cord, eventually gnawing off her own leg to escape.

Investigators think it happened weeks ago.

"The tendons were hanging out, the bone was exposed," McEntee said. "We found out later she had maggots in the injury, which says it was long-term, it didn't just happen overnight."

Investigators rescued Panda and took her to a vet, who amputated the rest of the St. Bernard's leg.

Now, Panda is on her way to finding a new home.

On Wednesday afternoon, she found a temporary home with Smokey Mountain Saint Bernard Rescue.

"We think Panda's going to be one of the lucky ones, to make it," said Beth Weaver, who runs the rescue group.

She plans to foster and rehabilitate Panda while taking in applications from potential adoptive parents.

"She's getting along great with her leg, you know," Weaver said. "It ain't stopped her. She's still got the heart of a Saint, so we're really proud of being able to help her in her time of need right now, to let her know that there ain't just mean people out there, there's kind-hearted ones, too."

Panda's alleged owner, Adolfo Lopez was charged Thursday.

The Monroe County Friends of Animals Group is hoping the owner will at least cover the cost of the more than $1,000 vet bill.

If not, they will rely on donations to the shelter.

The Smokey Mountain Saint Bernard Rescue group is now caring for Panda and hoping to find her a new home.The Smokey Mountain Saint Bernard Rescue group is now caring for Panda and hoping to find her a new home.

NBC News

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