By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – At first glance, you wouldn’t know Zoe was a miracle.
“When I went to visit; she was jumping and playing like any normal dog,” said Stacie Haynes, Susquehanna SPCA executive director. “If you didn’t look at her leg, you wouldn’t think she was any different.”
Just two weeks ago, the 9-year-old German shepherd was found chained outside of 605 County Highway 22, just northwest of Exeter Center, without food or water, having chewed off her own leg in an attempt to reduce the pain from an 11-pound tumor on her shoulder.
In a high-risk surgery on Thursday, Nov. 21, veterinarians at Cornell University Hospital for Animals were able to remove the tumor and are awaiting the results of the biopsy.
“If it is cancerous, the vets believe she’s a good candidate for radiation or chemo,” said Haynes. “And people have donated more than $5,000, so we can afford her care.”
Surgeons also removed Zoe’s leg at the shoulder, but Haynes said the dog will learn to navigate just fine on three legs. She was shaved and given stitches, but now sports a Cornell t-shirt to keep her warm and prevent her from biting the stitches.
Dr. Christine Schneider of the Pittsfield Vet Clinic “has been taking care of her since we got her, and she’ll be able to go up and take out her stitches when the time comes.”
On Tuesday, Nov. 19, Zoe’s owner, Carl K. Prichard, 59, was charged with her abuse.
Though Haynes believed Zoe was intended to be a guard dog, but wouldn’t have been a very good one: Even after undergoing the ordeal, she’s been friendly, with “no standoffs or growling.”