A Great Dane was forced to eat his own foot after being starved by his owners, according to the animal shelter that stepped in to save him.
The revelation comes after a police report said officers in South Carolina were alerted to a “very skinny” dog, who was missing more than half of his rear right leg.
Noah’s Arks Rescue said it saved the dog, now named Luke, but added that he was still in a critical condition.
The animal shelter said Luke was suffering from a respiratory infection and could not go into surgery for his limb, with the infection on the his leg becoming “extensive and more purulent”.
It also said the dog had an airway obstruction and was showing signs of refeeding syndrome – a reaction to the reintroduction of nutrients to the body.
The shelter wrote on Facebook: “My heart and gut tell me Luke is still in danger of losing his life. I believe it is a miracle he is alive today. I believe in MIRACLES all the time and am going to do everything possible to save Luke.
“He is a strong-minded dog that chewed off his leg to survive. He was a fighter and a survivor when no one cared about him. He knows we love and adore him and are doing everything possible to give him what he needs to survive.”
It added: “Please, pray for our beautiful boy and for the physicians that are looking after him. Everyone needs your prayers tonight.”
The animal shelter said it was raising money to continue Luke’s treatment.
According to US media reports, the dog’s owners Jessica James, 32, and Skylar Craft, 38, have been charged with ill treatment of animals.