A starved puppy was so deprived of nutrients he ended up with deformed legs leaving him unable to walk.
It’s one the worse cases of abuse the animal rescue center has seen, Hamilton SPCA manager Laura van der Kley said.
Cricket the pup weighed just 4.9kgs when he was rescued when he should have weighed at least 10kgs more.
The mix-breed was horrifically underweight leaving him unable to walk and with deformed legs when he turned up at Hamilton’s SPCA.
Cricket was diagnosed with a carpal flexural deformity – which meant his legs hadn’t grown as they should have most likely due to malnutrition.
“I haven’t seen a case like Cricket before. When the Inspector walked in she had him bundled up in a blanket we saw his little head it was all sunken it was horrible, and then we saw his body and we were all really, really shocked.”
He was aged by the vet to be five to six months old and should have weighed 15kgs but he came in at 4.9kgs.
The carpal deformity meant Cricket walked with his wrists bent over.
“The first day he came in and couldn’t walk I think it was because he was so incredibly weak he was a walking skeleton.
“We could initially tell his legs looked weird but when he started to walk it was really, really evident that something was really off.
“His little carpels buckle out – he was managing to get around but was an incredibly unusual gait.”
Cricket is now doing really well in foster care now and he’s almost walking like a normal puppy.
“We have very high hopes that he will recover fully but we can never say 100 per cent, the vets have said hopefully so its fingers crossed.”
It will be sometime before Cricket is fully recuperated and available for adoption.
The puppy was not microchipped and while the inspectorate did their best to try and find the owner they had no luck.
“We can’t prosecute which is really disappointing but we want to get the message out there that that is not okay, we can’t treat animals like that.”
It’s a timely reminder that pets are a lifelong commitment, with Christmas around the corner some may think a pet is an ideal present but van der Kley said that it’s not necessarily the best way to go about getting a pet.
“Pets are for life, every puppy and kitten turns into an adult even though they’re really cute, to begin with, it is a lifelong commitment. And while they give you a lot of enjoyment it is also a big responsibility and a lot of cost.”
The SPCA does not adopt out animals out as gifts.