A pit bull mix was found on the side of a road in Georgia with a zip tie around its genitals and in excruciating pain.
The dog, who has since been named Nelson, required emergency surgery hours after being discovered because he was so badly injured. A concerned resident found the 3-year-old pooch on November 2 about 10 minutes from the Jackson County Animal Control Center, along Academy Church Road.
"I can’t wrap my mind around it … I can’t even think about how someone could consider doing that to an animal," Humane Society of Northeast Georgia CEO Allison Mayfield told FOX 5.
Mayfield said the zip tie, which was wrapped so tightly around Nelson’s genitals, caused the dog so much pain that county officials initially considered euthanasia. But a call was instead made to the humane society, who offered to take him.
"I literally laid on the floor of my office with him for hours in tears. I could never imagine why someone would do that to such a sweet boy," Mayfield said. "We want people to know that animal cruelty is a very real thing, and we are going to fight with everything we’ve got."
She said they rushed Nelson to the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine for surgery.
"If you can imagine a full abdominal surgery, that’s basically what they did, and rerouted his urethra," she explained.
UGA medical professionals determined that Nelson suffered from penile necrosis due to strangulation and would need to have the entire organ removed to save him. The veterinarians decided to reroute his urethra to his rear abdomen to allow normal urinary function.
Now, two weeks after the surgery, Nelson is healing and is under the care of a foster parent through the humane society shelter. Mayfield said the humane society is hoping to find him a forever home soon.
Nelson will continue to recover for weeks or even months before he is able to regain full, pain-free function.
The humane society also hopes the person responsible for Nelson's injuries is found. Animal control officials said they do not currently have any leads.
Mayfield said through the "Season of Saves" initiative, the humane society wants to highlight the need for donations to help animals like Nelson.
"Cruelty to animals does exist, and it exists in a very traumatic and real form that is beyond anything some of us could imagine," she said. "What my vision for the humane society is that we never have to say no to an animal like Nelson."