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MSPCA-Angell Rescues Dog Who Chewed Off his Own Foot While Tethered Outside

Organization’s Adoption Center Raising Funds for Surgery While its Law Enforcement Team Pursues Felony Cruelty Conviction

BOSTON, July 25, 2016 – An emaciated two-year-old long-haired German Shepherd is lucky to be alive after chewing his own foot off in a desperate bid to free himself from the tether that was twisted around his leg for days, if not weeks, the MSPCA-Angell announced today.

“Maverick” was seized on July 12 by MSPCA Law Enforcement Officer Chelsea Weiand after the Middleboro, Mass. animal control officer discovered the dog and rushed him to a nearby animal clinic, where he was sedated so veterinarians could clean the severe wound to his right rear foot. Officer Weiand later took Maverick to the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston for ongoing treatment.

Weiand noted that Maverick’s other legs were covered in rope burns and scars that had healed over. “Clearly he had been entangled by his own leash many times in the past; unfortunately he was unable to free himself this last time,” she said. Weiand estimates that Maverick had been tethered and unattended for at least a full day before he injured himself.

On July 19 Weiand charged the dog’s previous owner, Kevin Kennedy of Middleboro, with one count of felony animal cruelty for neglect and failure to pursue necessary veterinary care. Kennedy will be arraigned in Wareham District Court on August 18.

One-of-a-Kind Surgery

An injury such as Maverick’s would typically be addressed by amputating the entire leg. But, according to Dr. Mike Pavletic, head of surgery at Angell, the dog’s hips are also compromised, taking that treatment option off the table. “His pelvic dysplasia has advanced to the stage that he simply wouldn’t be able to walk if we took his leg off,” said Pavletic.

Pavletic will instead deploy a technique he himself developed years ago: he will reconstruct for Maverick a functional foot by rotating what remains of his foot pad and repositioning it over the most weight-bearing part of the foot. “This is the only option before us that ensures Maverick’s foot can sustain normal wear and tear. He will get a second chance for a normal and pain-free life—and if any dog deserves that, it’s Maverick.”

The surgery is planned for July 27, after which Maverick will recover in the hospital for up to 10 days before he is placed for adoption.

Maverick’s surgery is expected to cost over $5,000 and the MSPCA’s Boston adoption center has issued an urgent call for donations. Readers interested in donating toward the cost of Maverick’s care, and other animals like him, can click

Maverick is expected to recover fully and adoption center manager Alyssa Krieger hopes his story will inspire adopters to step forward. “This is one of the most egregious cases of neglect we’ve seen and our first priority is to gather the resources necessary to treat him—then we will do all we can to find the caring home he deserves,” she said.

Anyone interested in adopted Maverick can contact the MSPCA’s Boston adoption center directly at


The MSPCA-Angell is a national and international leader in animal protection and veterinary medicine and provides direct hands-on care for thousands of animals each year. Founded in 1868, it is the second-oldest humane society in the United States. Services include animal protection and adoption, advocacy, humane education, law enforcement, and world-class veterinary care. The MSPCA-Angell is a private, non-profit organization. It does not receive any government funding nor is it funded or operated by any national humane organization. The MSPCA-Angell relies solely on the support and contributions of individuals who care about animals. Please visit