Welcoming a pet into your life is a huge responsibility. Whether they’re big or small, high maintenance or low, it’s never a decision that we should take lightly. Whenever we come across a case of abuse or neglect, we ask ourselves, “how could anybody ever let this happen to the most innocent living beings on earth?” In spite of all logic, it happens — and it breaks our hearts every time.

Maverick the German Shepherd was left tied up outside, for days, possibly for weeks, by his former caretaker. The rope had likely gotten wrapped around his back leg as Maverick tried to escape his tether. Trapped with a rope wrapped tightly around his paw, the young dog panicked and tried to free himself by chewing off his own foot.


After he was discovered by animal control officers earlier this month, he was taken into their custody and immediately rushed to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston for treatment. According to Alyssa Krieger, the adoption center manager at MSPCA-Angell, Maverick was “one of the most egregious cases of neglect we’ve seen.” Staff at the medical center noticed that Maverick’s other legs had several rope burns and wounds. Judging by that, we can guess that this wasn’t the first time poor Maverick had tried to set himself free.

While most dogs with three legs can live full lives, because of Maverick’s pelvic dysplasia, amputation is not an option. Instead, Dr. Mike Pavletic, head of surgery at Angell, will reconstruct a new foot for Maverick that can be worn over what remains of his foot pad. 



Now that he’s under the care of humans who want to help him, MSPCA-Angell needs to raise $5,000 in order to cover the cost of his surgery. After that, Maverick will be ready to find his new forever home. You can make a donation by clicking here or by sharing this story to help spread the word.


It’s situations like these that should serve as a reminder that the animals we adopt are our responsibility. Maverick’s injury could have been avoided if his caretaker had understood that adopting a dog means that you’re welcoming a new family member into your life — under no circumstances should we ever neglect them. If you ever come across a situation that looks like it could be animal abuse or neglect, don’t hesitate to call an animal rescue hotline. An animal’s life could depend on it.

Lead image source: MSPCA-Angell