Charlie, the emaciated dog found in a Buffalo garbage tote last month, was euthanized Friday evening due to his deteriorating physical condition and increasing aggressiveness, according to the SPCA Serving Erie County.
The pit bull terrier mix was found Jan. 22 by Buffalo sanitation workers, and quickly captured the hearts of staff at the SPCA and the community.
When he was found, he could not stand on his own. He seemed to improve, but had a guarded prognosis after being diagnosed with a blood disease.
Behavior specialists evaluated him Friday, and he showed aggressiveness toward other animals similar to that found in dog fighting, said SPCA spokeswoman Gina Browning. Charlie later chewed through a heavy metal bracket placed on the crate, as well as part of the cage door, and became increasingly destructive in the ICU, she said.
"This is never a decision that is taken lightly," said SPCA Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. Helene Chevalier. "If we do love them, sometimes we have to let them go."
It's sad news for the thousands who followed updates on Charlie on the SPCA's website, and sent him cards and good wishes.
"There was some level of animal cruelty and violence here. People are outraged over that," Browning said during a news conference.
There is still an open investigation into who abused the animal. Anyone with information can call the SPCA at 875-7360. There is a reward fund, which stands at $2,475, for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect.