New York dog chewed off own leg while living in crate outside, police say; owner charged

German shepherd chewed off her own leg while chained up without food or drinkable water, leading to the arrest of the New York man who police say was responsible for her.

Carl Pritchard, 59, was charged after a UPS driver reported seeing the dog, named “Zoe,” in the yard of an Exeter home on Nov. 14, and told authorities it looked like the dog’s leg was “blown off.”

Zoe, a roughly 9-year-old German shepherd, was living outside in a plastic pet crate that had hay inside, with no food and a bowl of water that was frozen over, New York State Police wrote on Facebook Tuesday. She was discovered to be without her front left limb — which veterinarians believe was missing because she “chewed off her own arm,” as some of the bones were found in her stomach.

Dr. Joan Puritz, of the Oneonta Veterinary Clinic, said Zoe apparently chewed off her front leg, which may have been diseased or injured.

“The dog was very emaciated. She may not have been getting enough nutrition. The leg was probably injured and she was trying to take care of it herself,” Purtiz said. “I’ve never seen anything like this. It breaks your heart. She’s such a sweet dog.”