Caregivers Struggling To Pinpoint Blame In Case Of Burned Puppy


UPDATED: Wednesday September 26, 2012 9:01 AM

A severely burned puppy is healing in the care of a Fairfield County animal hospital.

Ernie, the dog beloved of the veterinary staff, was burned so badly he had trouble walking. He suffered nerve damage to his legs and burns on his back.

Officials at the hospital said that they could not charge the owners because they cannot prove who is responsible for the dog's injuries.

"It could be a chemical burn," said Heidi Karnes of the Fairfield Pet Hospital. "It could be he got caught under something that was hot."

Ernie's owners told the veterinarians that they only had him a few weeks and someone else abused him.

"What we saw was the start of an infection on his back burn," Karnes said. "The skin was sloughing at the time, which means that it was dying and coming off."

Karnes said staff members were shocked by the dog's injuries. Perhaps most shocking of all for Ernie's doctors is that whoever is responsible for hurting the pup will not be charged.

Despite his gruesome injuries, Ernie continues to heal and wag his tail for visitors.

"He's healed very well so far, but the primary concern is that he continued to be caged rested because he can't run around," Karnes said.

Karnes said that it will be months before Ernie fully heals.

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