DALLAS — An investigation is under way into another possible case of animal cruelty after a dog was found with a container around its neck.
This time, the object was a coffee can; last summer, it was a large jar.
The challenge now is to save the life of the dog who was, in a way, already being watched over.
Bandages of care now wrap around Java's neck where perhaps the hard symbol of a corroded heart held the Shepherd mix a prisoner in her own body.
Dr. Kathryn Sarpong of the Metro Paws Animal Hospital operated on the dog. "She had pretty extensive wounds here going across her neck about halfway around the neck that went in about four inches," she said.
The dog arrived at the Dallas Animal Services shelter on Sunday with a coffee can around her neck. The vet thinks it must have been there for at least a month.
The staff cut off the can, revealing ingrown cuts on the dog's ear and lower neck.
From there, the Animal Allies of Texas rescue group took Java to Metro Paws Animal Hospital, where surgery Monday cleaned and closed the wounds.
Dallas Animal Services director Jody Jones said the city is looking into this case.
"As far as the investigation goes ... for any cruelty investigation, [we do] a series of examinations, looking at the facts that we have available to us," Jones said.
A citizen found Java in a desolate area off Interstate 20 and St. Augustine Road in far southeast Dallas. But Java was already being watched by a guardian.
Another Shepherd mix named Joshua — also believed to have been abandoned — was found with Java, staying close to her friend.
"Joshua was protecting Java; he was guarding over her," said Melody Hamilton of Animal Allies of Texas said. "That's a companion animal to us."
Challenges remain for both dogs: For Joshua, finding a new home; for Java, fighting infection and shock the next few days to survive, and then a home with new owners who truly love her.
Anyone with information about how the can got on the dog's neck can call Dallas Animal Services at 214-670-8312.
Contact Animal Allies of Texas for updates on Java or to make donations to provide for her care.