WDAY: The News Leader

Published June 25, 2010, 03:01 PM

Erhard man saves dog from horrible case of animal cruelty

Erhard, Minn. (WDAY TV) - An Erhard man is being credited with saving a dog's life in one of the worst cases of animal cruelty in Otter Tail County history. The German shepherd mix was found wandering in a rural yard this week, her neck slit.

By: Travis Skonseng, WDAY

Five days after being found barely alive, Star, a one year old German Shepherd mix, has a horrific survival story.

“The fact she survived is amazing. The fact she survived with no medical attention or any type of food or water is extremely amazing.”

Star's neck had been slit twice. The cuts close to her major arteries, veins, and trachea.

“They may have tried to cut her neck lower down, but those injuries not as serious.

The dog left for dead, one week later, after roaming the area, a much skinnier Star came scratching at Greg Kugler's door. The infected wound smelled terrible.

“It wasn't really sick. It was timid, kind of scared.”

Kugler got Star to safety, taking her in until help came.

“I didn't know if it'd live or die.”

She's now at the Otter Tail County Humane Society. Workers are nursing her back to health. She no longer needs surgery. This netting is applying pressure to gauze on Star's wounds, wounds that will take at least one month to heal.

“Quite astounded for what she's been through that she still even trusts us.”

Now, this tough animal is gaining weight, slowly eating and drinking again. Call it a miracle, she's still here and one lucky family will take care of her until she's adopted.

“She just wants her belly rubbed. To be hugged. She's actually wonderful in cars. She's just a sweet, sweet girl.”

Donations for Star's care can be sent to the Otter Tail County Humane Society - 1933 West Fir Avenue, Fergus Falls 56537.

The Otter Tail County Sheriff's Department has two "persons of interest" in the case. Authorities say they'll talk with them Monday. They aren't sure where or why the dog's throat was slit.

Police say the owner left the dog with a friend, and was originally told Star was hit by a car.

“If they were trying to dispose of the dog, in obviously a very cruel way, instead of taking the dog and working with the owner to have the dog appropriately put down, but it does seem that these injuries were intentional.”

The dog has no previous signs of abuse or trouble with law enforcement.