Shelter says starved Great Dane ate own foot to survive

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An animal shelter in South Carolina says it has rescued a starved Great Dane that ate one of his own feet to survive.

The six-year-old dog, named Luke, was found on Nov. 26, chained up and starving, according to Noah's Arks Rescue. He was reported by a passerby that saw him tied up to a pole with no food or water in sight, and Animal Control came out to the home. 

Several dogs were outside of the home, two of whom seemed to be fine, but Luke was so starved, he had eaten his foot. The rescue says it appeared he had been that way for almost two weeks.  

News outlets report owners 32-year-old Jessica James and 38-year-old Skylar Craft are charged with ill treatment of animals. A Ware Shoals police report says officers were told last month about a “very skinny” Great Dane missing over half his back right leg.

On Tuesday, Dec. 4, the rescue posted an update saying Luke had taken a turn for the worst, and they could not perform a necessary surgery on his leg.

"The respiratory infection we had been treating him for came back with a vengeance, and we decided he could not undergo anesthesia under these conditions," they wrote. "Luke had two good days, and then his body could no longer keep the infections he had from taking over."

Shelter employees say Luke must have several different aggressive infections other than the ones they have identified already, as his condition continues to deteriorate.

"I wish I had good news and could say his surgery went beautifully. Sadly, we will have to wait several more days before that will happen."

But they're holding out hope for the pup and continuing his care. 

"He was a fighter and a survivor when no one cared about him. He knows we love and adore him and are doing everything possible to give him what he needs to survive." 

The shelter is continuing to ask for prayers for Luke, and donations to help with his care. If you'd like to donate, click here

The Associated Press Contributed to this report.