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Jacksonville rescue group describes abused dog as worst case it's seen

Bud taken to animal hospital after being found tied to tree in Putnam County

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After an abused hound dog was found tied up in Putnam County this week, a Jacksonville rescue group brought the dog to an animal hospital.

Florida Urgent Rescue said it was the worse case of animal abuse that it's ever witnessed.

Mike Merrill, with Florida Urgent Rescue, told News4Jax on Thursday that the dog named Bud was malnourished and his neck was sliced open, likely due to being tied up for too long. 

"Bud (was) tethered to a tree with a metal cable that was embedded into his neck," he said.

Merrill said someone found Bud tied up to a tree, and brought the dog to him.

"This was absolutely the worst case I've ever seen. It was shocking," Merrill said. "The injuries were horrific and it was completely unnecessary."

Merrill said Bud isn't the only dog he's rescued within the last year that was found in horrible condition.

In August, News4Jax reported that Jacksonville hit 1,400 cases of animal abuse -- on pace to exceed last year's numbers. 

"There's absolutely no excuse for animal abuse. Neglect is also another form of animal abuse," Merrill said. "Tying an animal to a tree and leaving them there with inadequate food and water is inexcusable."

Florida Urgent Rescue took Bud to the University of Florida Small Animal Hospital in Gainesville, where the dog is being treated by veterinarians. Bud's chance for recovery is good. 

Merrill said he hopes whoever did this to Bud pays for it.

Animal neglect can be a felony offense. Florida Urgent Rescue encouraged anyone who notices animal mistreatment to report it to police.