Rescued Santee Puppy
An abused 3-month-old terrier is now recovering at County Department of Animal Services after being found abandoned late Wednesday night in Santee. Photo Department of County Animal Services

An abused 3-month-old terrier found abandoned in Santee was recovering Friday from injuries to his snout, possibly caused by being bound by rubber bands or other material.

Whatever was wrapped around the snout cut through the puppy’s flesh, said Daniel DeSousa, director of the San Diego County Department of Animal Services. The canine was treated at the county’s shelter in Bonita.

“There’s no question this puppy has been abused,” DeSousa said. “Perhaps it was a misguided attempt to stop the little dog from barking, but pet owners should not stoop to these steps as there are other options open to them, like training.”

Animal Services was called late Wednesday night by someone who spotted the puppy hiding under a vehicle near a fast-food restaurant.

It appears the bands were removed from the dog’s snout several days before he was found, DeSousa said. The wounds have started to heal and the 6 1/2-pound puppy did not have any other injuries.

The dog also didn’t have identification, so he will go up for adoption once he’s fully recovered.

Animal Services officials said that because of the dog’s injuries, the department may start an animal abuse investigation.

Anyone with information on the case should call the department at (619) 498-2305.  If convicted of animal cruelty, a suspect could face up to three years in prison, a fine of up to $20,000 or both.

—City News Service

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