WARNING: Details in the article below may be considered too graphic for some readers.
A $2,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of a suspect after a dog was found with matted fur, decaying teeth and large tumors in Rhode Island.
According to the non-profit Friends of Central Falls Animals, the dog, which has since been renamed "Treasure," was found wandering in a Central Falls backyard over the weekend.
She is possibly 18 years old and was close to death when brought to a vet, according to a Facebook post from the shelter.
Shelter officials say her teeth were falling out as she was being cared for, and she was finally able to close her mouth once the teeth fell out. She also had multiple large mammary tumors, which may have been caused by never being spayed, the shelter said.
"I can't begin to describe how matted she was," said Tia Torres on the group’s Facebook page. "The pain she must have felt is something I can't bring myself to think about. This case is literally making me sick. Doctor Truesdale said it's one of the worst cases he has seen in a long time."
The Rhode Island SPCA announced this week it was offering a $2,000 reward in partnership with Central Falls authorities for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those behind "this clear and blatant act of animal cruelty."
Lt. Christopher Reed confirmed Central Falls police were investigating the animal abuse case.
"The dog, even though it's suffered through all that cruelty, is going to live," he said.
Treasure has since been discharged from the veterinarian and is settling in with her new foster home through the Friends of Homeless Animals. She is currently not adoptable at the time.
Catherine Clark, who is fostering Treasure, said it’s not certain if the tumors are able to be removed, but that the dog is doing well.
"In spite of all of she's been through, my initial impression is that she's delightful! She loves people and love to be cuddled, and she especially loves to eat," she said in a Facebook post. "She's already gobbled down a big bowl of healthy wet dog food and has explored the house and settled in."
In a Facebook post Tuesday morning, the Friends of Central Falls Animals group said Treasure is fitting in with her new home and has gotten plenty of rest and food.
The vet bill totaled to just under $172 and donations are being accepted.
If interested, you can call the clinic directly at 508-761-8525. You can also send a check made out to William Truesdale DVM to the police station in care of animal control at 160 Illinois St. in Central Falls, RI 02863.
"If any money is taken in over the amount of Treasure's bill it will be added to the Central Falls medical account at the vet clinic to be used on the next dog or cat taken in," according to an additional Facebook post from Friends of Central Falls Animals.
Anyone with information on Treasure is asked to contact the RI SPCA at 401-438-8150.