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Emaciated dog found bound by duct tape

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ESCONDIDO, Calif. – A severely abused dog was nearly dead when he was found in the desert with his mouth taped shut, animal care officials said. Now, the extremely emaciated pooch is making a slow recovery.

The dog named “Tundra” was found in a Coachella Valley field suffering from neglect and abuse. His muzzle was duct-taped shut and he was left by a roadside to starve to death.  He was rushed to an animal urgent care facility, weighing only 38 pounds.

"I have never seen a dog reach this level of starvation and still be alive," said Keith Blackburn, a retired Carlsbad police sergeant, who has paid for some of the dog's medical bills.

Blackburn volunteers his time with the animal rescue group “It's The Pits” which is nursing the 3 to 4-year-old mixed pit bull or American bulldog back to health.

"It's so curious to me that there are some people out there who could do that and leave an animal like that," Blackburn said.  "I hope people realize they can take their dog to a local shelter and leave it with them. They don't have to violate any laws by dumping the animal somewhere. It can be taken care of or euthanized humanely."

Beth Gruff, the medical director for It’s The Pits, said Tundra is the second critically ill dog her group has recently seen.

"It's still a critical time," said Gruff. "We are not out of the woods yet."

Gruff said Tundra is in the process of trying to ingest his food.

"Tundra makes one step forward and two steps back," said Gruff. "We're trying to remove gases that keep building up in his stomach and we are trying to keep him hydrated. He is literally a bag of bones."

Gruff said Tundra is sweet and trusting and gives back unconditional love, despite the horrors the pet has endured.

"It makes you angry to see an animal suffering to this extent at human hands," she said. "No animal should ever have to endure this. It's an emotional level we see far too often."

Tundra is relying on donations for his care. For more information on his condition and how to donate to help pay for his bills, go to It's The Pits.


  • Michael

    I think we should start a fund to give a reward to the person who can provide the name of the scumbag who did this to this dog.

    • Toni Gillette

      I agree and once we know we duct tape his/her mouth shut and leave them in the desert to starve to death! Stories like this piss me off! Leave the animals alone and if you don’t want them or can not care for them leave them at an animal hospital or somewhere they can be taken care of! I hope and pray Tundra makes a full recovery!

  • The real 'Big Dee'

    Please, Please catch the worthless creep who did this. I guarantee you that this beautiful dog showed the loser who did this nothing but love! Anyone that dose this to a innocent animal deserves to be locked up. And I’d like to say to Keith that you are a wonderful person, God bless you! If at all possible post the punks picture on the net so everyone will know what a worthless piece of shit looks like! Once again the world is not that bad with people like Keith in it, and also “It’s the Pits”. What a wonderful group of people!!! GOD BLESS YOU.

  • Mary Kerr

    Man, would love to the same of the owner but minus the rescue! Here’s an idea don’t get a pet unless you can 100% keep them forever. Karma will be back for the waste of skin who did this!!!!!

  • vicki hanson

    This case needs to be throughly investigated 24/7! Starting with going door to door in the near by neighborhoods asking everyone about this dog. The sadistic person who did this cruel act might do this to a human!

  • Lisa

    Hopefully with all the attention Tundra is receiving, someone will recognize him and step forward with knowledge of who might have done this. In the meantime, I am so glad that he is in the hands of people who love him and care for him.

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