The husky, named "River" by its caretakers, was found Wednesday morning. He washed up on shore with lacerations, tar and parasites on Wednesday. The 6 to 7-year-old dog is also severely emaciated. But with plenty of help, for the first time in days, River got his first bite to eat with the help of veterinarians Wednesday. Those caring for him say he's proven wants to survive.
"He's really really pale, his gums are white, has a few parasites but he's thin," says veterinarian Kim Miller, "Lacerations below his tail, I don't know what kind of wounds they are yet but it's nasty and infected."
An officer for 20 years, Rita Cavenaugh knows the signs of animal abuse and neglect.
"You can tell from his nails, they're really long and not worn down, so I think he's probably been tied up, because you've got a tied look here," says Maumelle Animal Services officer Rita Cavenaugh.
There are also signs of tar on River's ears and muzzle, which leads Cavenaugh to believe he was dumped in the water.
"I honestly don't know how he got in the water short of being dropped there," says Cavenaugh.
A man found him on the river along Crystal Hill Road in Maumelle while he was eating lunch. River Collapsed when he was pulled to land.
"My first impulse was to euthanize to stop the suffering, and as I assessed him, I knew I had to give him a chance," says Cavenaugh.
Because if you look into his bright blue eyes, there's a glimmer of hope asking for a second chance.
Animal abuse and neglect is a felony in Arkansas. If you have any information, contact Maumelle Animal Service at 501-851-6219. They are also collecting donations to pay for River's medical costs.