An abandoned dog found tied to a tree off a busy stretch off I-84 by work crews last month, has been euthanized after developing breathing problems from injuries believed to be caused by a choker collar he was restrained with.
Pesci, the lovable dog who gained national attention was found around 10:30 a.m., on Wednesday, July 24, by a work crew getting ready to mow along the highway in East Fishkill when they heard what sounded like a dog barking in the nearby woods, state police said.
After walking into the woods, they found the young dog tied to a tree who showed signs of prior neglect.
On Wednesday, Aug. 7, Pesci was euthanized due to injuries believed to be caused by the choker collar that held him to the tree, said Dutchess Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Executive Director Lynne Meloccaro.
"There have been many tears around here following the death of this lovable and happy dog," Meloccaro said. "It's just tragic that he could not survive. He was so loved. It's quite devasting."
Meloccaro said Pesci seemed fine when he arrived at the Dutchess County SPCA. He was happy and playful and loved attention, she added.
He also received top-notch medical care from the staff and all assumed he would recover and be adopted out.
But on Sunday, Aug. 4, Pesci began having difficulty breathing and was rushed to emergency care where he was treated until Monday morning when he was taken by ambulance to Guardian Veterinary Specialists in Brewster.
The medical staff found he had a collapsed trachea and a possible tear to his esophagus.
"The medical staff did everything they could to save Pesci but he could not breathe on his own, and they believed he would not be able to do so," Meloccaro said.
Pesci was euthanized around 6 p.m.
"The sad thing, Meloccaro said. "Is this didn't need to happen. The SPCA will always take animals that can't be cared for or people don't want anymore. Don't just tie a dog to a tree and walk away. There is help available."
Officials are still offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for abandoning Pesci. Anyone with information is asked to call state police at 845-677-7300.
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