DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - DeKalb County Animal Services said a dog underwent emergency surgery to fix his slit trachea after someone wrapped a cord around Poncho's neck.
"There's no way these injuries would be possible on their own," Shelter Veterinarian Kathryn Haines said. "Someone had to wrap the cord around his neck so tightly to cause this."
Poncho came into DeKalb County Animal Services as a stray dog last week. That's when Haines said she saw his wounds.
"He has an open wound that went down to his lungs," Haines said. "There was barely anything left."
Because Poncho was a stray, Lifeline Animal Project Public Relations Director Karen Hirsch said investigators will not be able to find who is responsible.
"This is the worst embedding collar band situations we've ever seen," Hirsch said.
According to medical personnel, Poncho may have been living with the band around his neck for months.
"Considering how bad the injuries were, it's likely he was like that for a while," Haines said. "I've seen bands around feet, but I've never seen something like this."
Poncho is recovering and will be available for adoption in coming weeks.
"He has to have medical treatment for next few weeks before he can go to a forever home," Haines said. "He may never be able to bark again but at least he will have another chance at life."
On Friday and Saturday, DeKalb County Animal Services, Fulton County Animal Services and Lifeline Project's two shelters are waving pet adoption fees after a spike in intake in recent months.
"We've had an average of 700 pets coming in every month," Hirsch said. "We are waving fees in hopes that people will come adopt."