Dog Who Gnawed Off Paw to Escape Chain, Finds New Home

A dog that suffered from a self-inflicted wound to escape life chained up, has found a new home.

Three weeks ago a pit bull named Gavin was dropped off at Maury County Animal Services near Nashville, Tennessee and was missing his back paw. The person who left the dog at the shelter told staff the dog had got caught in a trap, but the wound told a different, sadder story.

Dr. Samantha Holter with Veterinary Wellness Clinic of Columbia believed Gavin’s wound was caused by him chewing off his own paw to free himself from a tangled chain, according to WKRN. (There was also raw skin around his neck, another clue a chain was used.)

Related: Dog Weighed Down By Chain and Muzzle Taped Shut Now Has Reason to Live

“If it was a trap, we would’ve had multiple lacerations to that limb,” Dr. Holter the outlet. “Gavin had a single laceration above his injury, so we’re able to tell it was a chain that caused the damage to his limb.”

Pet Pals, an organization focused on sick and injured animals, stepped in to pay for Gavin’s bill.

“That tugs at your heart strings,” Pet Pals president Sonjalyn Dickson Rine said. “To see that exposed bone and that look on his face. It just looked like he had no hope left.”

But thanks to a team effort with rescue Proverbs 12:10, Gavin was placed in a loving, forever home and is doing amazing. His story is just the latest involving injuries because of tethering. Pet Pals alone has now seen four dogs seriously harmed because of improper tethering in Maury County.

The reason may be because the current laws don’t hold owners responsible. According to Tennessee law, someone could be charged with a misdemeanor if “a person commits an offense who knowingly ties, tethers, or restrains a dog in a manner that results in the dog suffering bodily injury.”

Related: Unchain a Dog Month: Here is How to Set Pups Free

Columbia City Councilwoman Debbie Matthews has been fighting for tougher laws and wants the state to take a page from the Davidson County ordinance, banning chaining dogs.

In 2014, the state did consider stricter tethering laws but nothing came of it. Matthews is hoping lawmakers will revisit the bill and crack down on dogs chained up.

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