REDMOND, Ore. - Just as Chance, the severely injured pit bull who was brought to BrightSide Animal Center last July, was released for adoption late last week, the Redmond shelter received another dog who may have been injured in the same way, officials said Thursday.
"This most recent incident serves as a reminder that it is not safe to allow dogs to travel in an open vehicle, such as the bed of a pickup truck," BrightSide Executive Director Chris Bauersfeld said.
"Even though a dog is tethered, per requirements of law, the tether could be too long, allowing the dog to dangle over the side of the vehicle if it attempts to jump out," she said. "If the tether is long enough, the dog could be dragged in contact with the road."
It appears that may have been what happened to this dog, a 2-year-old female who was found injured by good Samaritans along a roadside in Jefferson County with no microchip or tags.
The couple found the 2-year-old pit bull mix along a road off the old Culver Highway after a fishing trip to Haystack Reservoir, the shelter said.
BrightSide staffers have named the dog Nutmeg, as suggested by the kind, caring couple who stopped on the road to help her and brought her to the shelter.
Bauersfeld explained to NewsChannel 21 what doctors think happened:
"She was in the back of a car, most likely a truck, and she was tied in. But the rope or chain she was tied with was too long, she went out over the side over the back and she was hanging by her neck. She was dragging by the tops of her hind legs, because that's where the major injuries were."
"Dogs should be micro-chipped, in addition to being licensed," Bauersfeld said, because collars can come off.
She also reminded pet owners that microchip information should be updated every time phone numbers or addresses change.
The injuries to Nutmeg's paws, neck and chest suggest she may have been dragged, Bauersfeld said, and her wounds were probably 36 to 48 hours old at the time she was brought to the shelter.
Although Nutmeg's injuries are not as severe as those of Chance, they likely will take weeks to heal, Bauersfeld said. Nutmeg is being fostered by one of BrightSide's employees during her recovery.
"It's unfortunate we are 2 for 2, these great dogs that don't deserve to have this happen," Bauersfeld said.
"It's hard to know whether it was an accident or a crime," said Jefferson County sheriff's Deputy Jason Pollock, who is handling the case.
Neither the dog's owners nor witnesses have come forward, he said. Anyone with information is asked to contact Pollock at 541-420-1619.