BRITISH COLUMBIA

Starving Husky Ate Gravel To Survive: BC SPCA

02/04/2015 03:16 EST | Updated 02/05/2015 12:59 EST

Animal cruelty investigators in B.C. are looking for the owner of a starving dog who had been eating gravel to survive.

The Siberian husky, now named Willow, was found severely emaciated near 256th and 128th in Maple Ridge on Saturday. Believed to be one or two years old, she weighed 15 kilograms — a healthy husky that age should be around 24 kilograms, said the B.C. SPCA in a news release.

It’s hard to say how long Willow has been wandering the streets, but rocks and soil were found in her stomach with no traces of food. Senior animal protection officer Eileen Drever said that leads her to believe Willow was eating gravel to try and stay alive.

"She has been assessed with a score of 'one' on the canine body conditioning scale of one to nine, meaning that she is severely malnourished," Drever said in the release.

The husky has gained one kilogram since getting treatment at the Dewdney Animal Hospital.

"She was barely able to walk when she came in. Her muscles are still very weak and she sometimes loses her balance but is now able to walk nearly a block with support," said Drever.

SPCA officials are asking for the public's help in identifying who could be responsible for Willow's condition, as the dog had no tags to link her to an owner.

In 2010, an emaciated golden retriever named Trooper was also found in Maple Ridge. The dog weighed 11 kilograms, compared to healthy retrievers who weigh 30 to 34 kilograms, reported Global News. His former owner, Michael Schneider, was fined $2,000, and banned from owning animals for 10 years.

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