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TUCSON (KVOA) - Susan Krase has seen a lot in her decades on the police force and now running a Labrador rescue. But what she saw last month is one of the worst cases of abuse she has seen in a while.
"He was so malnourished we had him immediately taken to our vet clinic and hospitalized," Krase said. "There was nothing left of this dog. The vet workup showed he was so anemic, he even had a hard time walking, they didn't know if he was deformed or it if it was just malnutrition."
The 18-month-old Lab, named Reggie, weighed just 26 pounds when he was found. He was so thin you could see every bone on his body. An apartment manager on the eastside begged Reggie's owner to give him the dog and he called Krase's group, Southwest Oasis Labrador Rescue after he found the dog during an apartment inspection.
Reggie's owner told Krase she couldn't take care of him and had given him to a couple on Craig's List.
She said he was returned weeks later severely underweight and with a gaping neck wound.
"That was from a rope, that whoever had him had tied him with a rope and it was going back and forth and basically it burned through his neck," Krase said.
A male Labrador typically weighs between 60 and 80 pounds. No one is sure how long Reggie was kept in a crate, but vets said it has stunted his growth and affected his joints. His owner told Krase he had gotten too big and his size was violating her rental agreement.
Reggie currently weighs 35 pounds and the vets want to get him to 45 pounds. He is eating 1000 calories a day.
"It's a sad state that he never got to grow into the big full chocolate lab that he was meant to be, but his spirit is as big as any dogs," said Reggie's foster, Tim Mouser.
Reggie has been living with Mouser for two weeks. He has dogs to play with, a swimming pool, and is surrounded by love. His foster father says he's a totally different dog.
"Now he plays, now he jumps. Before he didn't do anything, just lied on his dog bed because he didn't have any energy, he was exhausted," Mouser said.
Many animal advocates warn against listing a dog on Craig's List. Some dogs are "flipped" sold to someone else for a profit. Dog fighters also use the site to find animals.
"They use them for bait, people don't believe it. people don't realize it but I've had one of those dogs, actually, a few of those dogs, that have been used as bait and people just don't realize what is going on on Craig's List," Krase said.
Reggie should go up for adoption in three to four weeks, it depends on his progress. Krase vows he will never be placed on Craig's List again. You can check SOLR's website or Facebook page if you want to follow Reggie's recovery.
If you see or suspect animal abuse you are urged to call Pima Animal Care Center. If a pet is in imminent danger you can dial 911.