Three people have been arrested after police found a dog that had its back legs "sawn off" in an apparent act of animal cruelty, according to officials.
Police described finding the dog, whose name is Buddy, without any hind legs in the middle of a trailer park in heavy rain in Slidell, Louisiana.
A mother and her 17-year-old daughter were arrested and charged with cruelty to animals and aggravated cruelty to animals respectively.
A third suspect was also charged with animal cruelty. The sheriff’s office has not publicly disclosed their identities.
The 50-year-old woman and her daughter told officers Buddy's limbs “fell off” after being bandaged too tightly following a shooting the dog had suffered in February.
However, a veterinary expert working with the sheriff’s office to care for Buddy during his recovery concluded the wounds had in fact been “maliciously inflicted”.
Sheriff Randy Smith described feeling “appalled” about the incident in a statement shortly after the arrests were announced.
“As a dog owner myself, I was completely appalled when we received a complaint of such horrific animal cruelty in our community,” he said, according to WGNO-TV.
“Our investigators acted swiftly, and the parties responsible have been charged accordingly.”
A local fundraising initiative to cover the dog’s medical costs amassed nearly $18,000 (£14,636) in just seven days after some 600 people donated.
The fundraising page said Buddy “has endured the unthinkable”, adding that his bone was sticking out, his legs had been “intentionally” sawed off and an infection was setting in.
The additional funding would reportedly go to at least six other dogs who required surgery, according to the fundraising page.
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