The Charleston Animal Society said a North Charleston stray dog was found with its muzzle taped shut for as long as two days.
North Charleston Animal Control is investigating the case and looking for whoever is responsible. The Animal Society is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.
The group said Caitlyn, a 15-month-old chocolate Stafford mix, was a well-known stray in the Chicora-Cherokee neighborhood, and was regarded as friendly.
Last seen on Memorial Day, Caitlyn turned up early Wednesday on a person’s doorstep with electrical tape tightly wound around her muzzle. The dog’s tongue was caught between her teeth, and the tape was so tight it stopped blood flow to her tongue, the Animal Society said.
Her prognosis “is guarded,” said Dr. Lucy Fuller, the group’s senior director of veterinary care.
Fuller said part of the tongue may have to be removed surgically if the tissue dies from the lack of blood flow.
Caitlyn was doing well late Thursday, considering her condition, said Kay Hyman, a spokeswoman for the Animal Society. The stray will be transferred to a specialty care facility on Friday, she said.
Caitlyn’s treatment is being paid for through Toby’s Fund, which is funded by donations to the Charleston Animal Society.
An investigation into the incident is ongoing. The penalty for ill treatment of an animal is up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
For more information on Toby’s Fund or to donate, go to www.charlestonanimalsociety.org/tobys-fund.
Christina Elmore contributed to this report.