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.

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