By Joe Mahoney The Daily Star
---- — They’re calling him “Little Guy” but perhaps it should be “Lucky Guy,” this small mixed-breed dog rescued from a garbage pail a week ago near Toddsville, just south of Cooperstown.
How many days and nights he had been outside amid the frigid polar vortex weather patterns is unknown. And where he came from is unknown. But one thing is certain: When he was found, witnesses say, Little Guy had a metal chain protruding from underneath his skin that had apparently been used to keep him tied down.
There could be a number of explanations for the chain, said Liz Mackey, the director of the Susquehanna SPCA just south of Cooperstown. And that is why, she added, she does not want to rule in — nor does she want to rule out — the possibility that the dog was abused and/or neglected.
Emaciated when he was found by a local homeowner, Little Guy is now being nursed back to health at Cooperstown Veterinary Associations just north of Fly Creek on state Route 28.
The chain has been surgically removed by Dr. Michael Powers, a veterinarian. He is the brother of county Rep. James Powers, R-Butternuts, who, along with Mackey and Sheriff Richard Devlin Jr., has been advocating for the hiring of a county animal cruelty investigator.
“We don’t have anyone now who can handle these cases,” James Powers said.
Mackey said Little Guy was found in Toddsville after he apparently jumped off a porch into a garbage pail containing a few empty cat-food tins.
“At first, she thought it might be a raccoon,” she said. “Then she looked and saw that it was a dog.”
The dog was so emaciated that it was apparent he had gone without food for a long time, she said.
“The skin under the front left leg had begun to grow over the chain,” she said. “This doesn’t happen overnight. That chain had been like that for some time.”
There are no known reports of a missing dog matching the description of Little Guy, she said.
Though the dog has been impounded, he is not yet available for adoption, Mackey said. That’s because it’s possible his owner could step forward now to claim him. It’s also possible that he was abandoned, or that his owner will never present a claim for him, in which case he could be given to a new home.
“It’s hard to imagine how this dog could have survived that long, given how cold it’s been here in recent weeks,” Mackey noted. “You could only wonder what he went through with those temperatures. We’re lucky to have him.”