POMONA, Calif. - A 1-year-old poodle named Ricky is recovering after nearly losing his life when someone bound his mouth shut with a rubber band.
"One of the most severe injuries like this that I've seen. Very badly infected wounds. A rubber band penetrated all the way through and basically cut through all the tissue in Ricky's muzzle. Very, very bad," Dr. Cynthia Kinney said.
Kinney gave Ricky his name and said the pup was found on Amador Avenue in Ontario Saturday night. He had no tag, no collar, no microchip and just the rubber band embedded in his muzzle.
He was rushed to the Inland Valley Humane Society for treatment. Pictures of his wounds were difficult to see as the rubber band was wrapped around his mouth two times and likely for weeks, causing cuts down to the bone.
"He has three layers of stitches. There's a deep layer, a middle layer and then the layer that you see. There's probably about 60 or 70 sutures that are in place," Kinney said.
The surgery took more than an hour. Kinney said the young dog was in severe pain and starving to death. The Inland Valley Humane Society is investigating the horrific case of animal cruelty, searching desperately for the perpetrator.
Kinney said someone likely put the rubber band on Ricky to stop him from barking or chewing on things, which is a cruel act the sweet canine didn't deserve. Kinney promises him a better life and that his abuser will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
"We are getting more and more aggressive with prosecution of these cases and we're watching people very carefully. We will not tolerate it," she said.
The good news is that Ricky is in stable condition and doing well, but it'll be several weeks before he goes up for adoption. If you want to help Ricky, you may donate to the organization.