‘Worst case I’ve seen in 30 years’: Severely abused dog spurs rescue community into action

Fix Long Beach board member Diana Kliche was driving home from a clinic on Dec. 8 when she got a frantic message from a volunteer about a severely abused dog. A resident in the Downtown Long Beach area had found a little dog tied up in a trash bag and thrown into a dumpster.

The dog was severely injured and was covered in bruises. Her coat was soaked with urine. Pieces of ham, onion and spaghetti from the dirty bag were matted in her fur.

“Some guy in an apartment building heard her crying,” said the volunteer, who asked to remain anonymous. “The dog reeked—it was the worst smell I’ve ever smelled in my life. She was completely matted, which showed she’d been neglected for a long time.”

The volunteer kept the little dog warm by wrapping her in a blanket and holding her in her arms. She applied a warming disc to her underbelly and gently fed her sugar water to help prevent her from going into further shock. She saw that the dog’s gums were white and pale, which can such signal such abnormalities as internal bleeding.

“I kept talking to her so she’d stay with us,” the volunteer said. “I could have sworn that that dog was going to die in my arms. She was trying to open her eyes, and that’s when I noticed the extreme bruising all over her head.”

Hero volunteer was first responder to extreme cruelty incident. Courtesy video.

Kliche arrived and rushed the dog to Primary Care Animal Hospital on Lakewood Boulevard, where she was immediately admitted as an emergency. Kliche said that the veterinarians found a skull fracture, a possible neck fracture and a femur split in half above the knee. They also verified, to Kliche’s horror, that the urine found on her coat didn’t come from the dog but from a human. Kliche said that she was also told that the skull fracture, as hateful as the source was, provided the dog’s swollen brain space to expand.

“I’ve seen a lot, but this was the worst case of abuse I’ve seen in 30 years,” said Primary Care’s front-office manager, Nancy Hickey.

Long Beach Animal Care Services (LBACS) manager Ted Stevens also expressed disgust over the abuse.

“That’s appalling,” he said. “We’ve seen some gnarly stuff here, but that’s pretty bad. There are some pretty messed-up people out there.”

The dog was stabilized by the veterinarians and transferred to Long Beach Animal Emergency, located nearby at the Traffic Circle. At this writing, she’s hanging in and responding to treatment. She has been given the name Chloe and is believed to be a year-old terrier. She will need leg surgery and possibly amputation. When she’s able to be released, she will be staying with a rescuer who deals with special medical cases.

Stevens said that an investigation is pending. He was unable to give further details except that it sounded serious enough to be considered a felony. According to Fix Long Beach, there may be camera footage of the actual crime that can be useful to the investigation.

Any firsthand information about this crime should be sent to [email protected], with Dog-Abuse Case in the subject line, or called in at 562-570-7387.

Fix Long Beach is covering Chloe’s medical bills and has expressed a critical need for donations. To help with Chloe’s recovery, donations can be made on this link or on PayPal at [email protected].

Support our journalism.

Hyperlocal news is an essential force in our democracy, but it costs money to keep an organization like this one alive, and we can’t rely on advertiser support alone. That’s why we’re asking readers like you to support our independent, fact-based journalism. We know you like it—that’s why you’re here. Help us keep hyperlocal news alive in Long Beach.

Kate Karp is the Pets Columnist for the Long Beach Post covering the world of animal activism, pet adoptions and lots of cute cats. She’s called Long Beach home since 1994 and has written for the Post for about 10 years. Kate’s day job is as a copyeditor, which she discovered a love for during her 30-year tenure as a teacher. She describes the job as “like taking the rough edges off a beautiful sculpture.”