Police have opened an animal cruelty case after finding a severely emaciated dog in Waveny last week, officials said.
Collarless and un-chipped, the female bulldog-and-boxer mix first was spotted in Waveny at about 11 a.m. last Tuesday by a park visitor who contacted the Animal Control section of the New Canaan Police Department, according to Officer Allyson Halm.
The animal, perhaps five or six years old, almost certainly was “dumped” there, said Halm, head of Animal Control.
“This is an open animal cruelty case,” she said. “There is no way you could call and claim this dog and not have to explain.”
Halm said the dog “couldn’t be sweeter” and immediately responded when police approached.
“She grabbed a hold of me,” Halm said of her first encounter with the distraught animal. “And she jumped into car, like, ‘Are you going to save me?’ ”
The good Samaritans who phoned police told Halm the tan-and-white dog approached them in a friendly manner, and stayed with her until Animal Control arrived.
The dog is being cared for at the New Canaan Veterinary Hospital on Vitti Street, after coming in weighing 50 pounds—about 30 percent underweight, officials said.
She had put on two total pounds as of Friday.
According to Halm, the dog when found had “a terrible smell about her” and had a wound of some kind on her front leg.
“It was something that you would see on a dog that’s left on concrete or wet surfaces, so this is clearly a neglect case,” Halm said.
She also had broken teeth, Halm said.
In Connecticut, according to the state law governing animal cruelty, a person is guilty of the felony offense if an animal is deprived of “necessary sustenance,” among many other reasons.
Michelle Galanek, a technician at New Canaan Veterinary Hospital, said that the dog arrived in “very dire” condition and soon would have died if she wasn’t found. Galanek said that if the dog goes unclaimed, as expected, she intends to pursue adoption herself.
Galanek said she turned to her own 6-year-old son, a football fan, for a possible name for the dog, now known as ‘Peyton.’
“So far she is doing OK,” Galanek said Friday afternoon as Peyton rested in a crate nearby. “She is emaciated because she was starving so we are feeding her three times a day to get weight back on her.”
Peyton has had some trouble passing food and the staff at the animal hospital, having de-wormed the dog and tested her for parasites, is in the process of ensuring that there’s no underlying medical issue causing the problem, Galanek said.
Asked why she decided to adopt the animal, Galanek said: “There is just something about her. The look in her eyes. I don’t know. I was drawn to her. I don’t know what to say other than that.”
Galanek said that Peyton has greeted every visitor, human and otherwise, with a friendly wag of the tail. The Galaneks have a cat at home, so Peyton will need to be friendly with that animal, as well as a Chihuahua named ‘Señor’ that locals may recall. Apparently dumped outside CVS on Park Street about three years ago, Señor was adopted by Galanek and is thriving.
“He has been hands-down the best dog I have ever had,” Galanek said of her beloved Chihuahua, laying in the crate stacked atop Peyton’s. “He has so much personality.”
Still, Galanek said she has always had large dogs in the past.
“I love him [Señor] dearly, but I miss having a big dog,” she said.
Anyone with information on the dog found at Waveny can contact the Animal Control section of the New Canaan Police Department at 203-594-3510.