Severely neglected dog recovering from tic, maggot infestation


A dog is recovering after suffering a severe case of animal neglect.

Staff at Valley Oak SPCA in Visalia spent all Monday night into Tuesday morning pulling hundreds-of-thousands of tics off a dog they’ve named Blueberry.

They said she weighs 33 pounds, about half what she should.

“I don’t think she would have made it through the night,” Lydia House the executive director said.

House and her staff worked until 3 a.m. Tuesday morning pulling hundreds of thousands of tics from Blueberry. The dog is now severely anemic from the parasites. “Basically they were sucking her of her blood and her nutrients,” House said. She also said the cuts were infested with maggots. 

“This dog would have died,” Adriana Figueroa-Bruce lead director at Friends of Orange Cove Animal Shelter said. 

Figueroa-Bruce said a concerned Orange Cove resident reached out to her about the dog. She and her husband picked it up, but the shelter is at maximum capacity, so they sent out an emergency message to Valley Oak SPCA.

Figueroa-Bruce said sadly this is not the worst case she’s seen. “This is a huge problem in this community. Dogs get discarded, especially Pit Bulls,” she said. 

House said Blueberry is now on the right track. “The best sign for us is that she wanted to eat, and so that just tells us a lot,” House said.

The shelter is monitoring Blueberry and doing blood work. They expect she’ll have some sort of tric borne illnesses after what she’s been through.

Rescuers said this is the perfect example of the importance of reporting neglect and abuse, they want to remind the community — “If you see something, say something.”

“Every single dog has a story and since they can’t tell it, it’s our job to tell their story to the world. Her story is one of amazing strength and shows how amazingly miraculous dogs can be, because as a person we might have given up, she wags her tail,” House said. 

Blueberry will eventually be available for adoption. You can get more information and donate to the shelters involved with saving Central Valley animals by following the links below.

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April 29 2021 12:00 am

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