6-pound puppy dies after ingesting nearly 50 short ribs, shelter says

Animal rescuers in California are warning pet owners to "keep human food away from your furry friends" after a three-month-old puppy died after eating almost 50 short ribs.

The "sweet scruffy puppy" was recently brought to the Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and underwent emergency surgery, according to a Facebook post from the shelter. The center's medical team removed nearly 50 ribs from the 6-pound-dog's stomach and intestines.

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It's unclear how the pup had access to the bones. His owner, according to KXTV, noticed the dog was acting lethargic and brought him to a private veterinary clinic.

The dog's owner reportedly didn't want to pay for, or couldn't afford, treatment for the dog, and so an employee at the clinic brought the dog to the SPCA.

The doctor who performed surgery on the puppy said she never would've guessed the dog ingested 46 ribs.

The doctor who performed surgery on the puppy said she never would've guessed the dog ingested 46 ribs. (Sacramento SPCA)

Laurie Siperstein-Cook, a doctor who performed surgery on the dog, told the news outlet they "kind of had a pool to, you know, how many (rib bones) would we find?"

"The highest guess was 22, and it turned out to be 46 — and we're going, 'How does a little six-pound puppy eat 46 of these?'"

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After his surgery, the dog appeared to be doing well, recovering in a foster home and eating small amounts of food.

But on Sunday, the shelter wrote online that the dog died.

The shelter is warning pet owners to avoid feeding animals human food after the dog died.

The shelter is warning pet owners to avoid feeding animals human food after the dog died. (Sacramento SPCA)

"After having a really good day after surgery, he began to go downhill over the weekend. Our veterinary team provided him with additional treatment, but unfortunately his little body could not quite catch up," rescuers wrote.

The shelter warned pet owners to avoid feeding their animals human food. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, feeding pets raw bones "may seem like a natural and healthy option that might occur if your pet lived in the wild."

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However, domestic pets might not be able to handle such food. They could choke, "or sustain a grave injury should the bone splinter and become lodged in or puncture your pet’s digestive tract."

Other foods that are seemingly healthy, like avocados, chocolate and grapes, can also be toxic for dogs.