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Emaciated, duct tape bound dog left for dead in desert begins to recover

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On Aug. 31, Fox 5 News reported that an emaciated dog who was duct taped and left for dead in the desert near Escondido, California is beginning to recover from his abuse. The dog, named "Tundra," was found in a Coachella Valley field with his muzzle duct-taped shut.

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The severely abused dog was near death when he was rushed to an animal urgent care facility. He tipped the scales at only 38 pounds and his hip bones and ribs showed prominently. The authorities were shocked at the dog's condition, but Tundra is slowly making a recovery, thanks to his rescuers and to the veterinary staff who rallied around him.

“I have never seen a dog reach this level of starvation and still be alive,” stated Keith Blackburn, a retired Carlsbad police sergeant. Blackburn, who volunteers with the animal rescue organization It's the Pits, has paid for some of Tundra's medical bills.

It's the Pits is nursing the young dog back to health. It is believed that Tundra is either a pit bull mix or an American bulldog mix who is approximately 3 or 4 years old. The dog has already endured a lifetime's worth of suffering - but hopefully he will recover fully and find the loving home that he deserves.

“It’s so curious to me that there are some people out there who could do that and leave an animal like that,” stated Blackburn. “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.”

According to Beth Gruff, the medical director for It’s The Pits, Tundra is the second critically ill dog that her group has seen recently. And Tundra's condition is still touch and go.

“It’s still a critical time,” said Gruff. “We are not out of the woods yet. Tundra makes one step forward and two steps back. 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.”

Despite the extreme animal cruelty that Tundra endured, this beautiful dog is still trusting, sweet, and full of love. His rescuers are angered at those who hurt him, but they're looking ahead to Tundra's recovery.

“It makes you angry to see an animal suffering to this extent at human hands,” stated Gruff. “No animal should ever have to endure this. It’s an emotional level we see far too often.”

The animal rescue organization It's The Pits stated on their website: "Tundra was found in a field, extremely emaciated and having suffered incredible neglect and abuse. His muzzle was duct taped shut and he was left to starve...

"He is receiving around the clock care, as his body had basically began to shut down. He is on IV fluids and has gained three pounds since being checked in, though he is still having trouble keeping food down. He has a tube inserted through his nose to help relieve the gas in his stomach.

"We have not ruled out the possibility of a blockage, but we are optimistic that he will overcome this...We are committed to showing Tundra the true meaning of unconditional love, something he has been sorely lacking."

Tundra is relying upon donations for his life-saving care and he also has his own personal Facebook page. To donate directly to his medical care through PayPal, click here. Tundra is not healthy enough at this time to be available for adoption.

It's the Pits is a 501(c)3 organization that specializes in American Staffordshire Terriers (“Am Staffs”), Staffordshire Bull Terriers ("Staffies"), and American Pit Bull Terriers. The organization, which is located in San Diego County, rescues dogs from shelters and then places them in appropriate families. To learn more about the organization, click here.

Animal cruelty is against the law. It is unclear who taped Tundra and left him for dead in the desert, but someone has to know something. If you think you know who did this to Tundra, please contact the authorities.

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