Valley shelter rescues hairless pit-bull pup

January 18, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A three month old puppy with a severe skin infection was found abandoned outside a shelter in the freezing cold.

The pit-bull pup named Elmo, was found early Thursday morning near Valley Animal Center in East Central Fresno.

Richard Delgado says he and his coworkers were showing up for work at Elaine's Pet Resort early Thursday morning when they found a pit bull puppy tied to the front fence in between their building and Valley Animal Center located next door.

Delgado said, "Turns out my coworkers parked here and so they were able to see there was something in there and it was the dog burrowed in the blanket."

Delgado says when they went in for a closer look - they discovered the dog had one of the most severe skin diseases they had ever seen.

"Oh, it was bad," Delgado said. "I've seen a lot of dogs get dropped off here because there's Valley Animal Center and Valley Rescue Center right over here and our facility, Elaine's, but that was really bad. It almost looks like he was in a fire or something because there were open sores everywhere."

That's when they called Fresno Bully Rescue for help, and workers rushed the puppy now known as Elmo to nearby abbey pet hospital for emergency treatment. His eyes were swollen, his skin was red and his infection was so bad it oozed.

"This is worst case scenario," Cecilia Wright said. "This isn't ok, this has been going on."

Medical Advisor Cecilia Wright says doctors diagnosed him with demodex - a destructive mite passed down from the mother days after birth.

If a flare up occurs and it's left untreated, she says the inflammatory skin disease can cause secondary infections, hair loss and itching. In Elmo's case, he was likely neglected for months.

Wright said, "In severe cases like this, this is going to take 7 months, 8 months maybe a year of medication and constantly coming into the vet to check to see the status of the skin."

For now, Wright says Fresno Bully Rescue will foot the bill, but she and other animal advocates have a message for owners who can no longer care for their pets.

Wright said, "You could call these guys or Valley Animal Rescue Fresno, Fresno Bully any of these places will definitely help out adopt out the dog and not leave it overnight when it's freezing you know?"

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