Sox was just 9 months old when found with a rubber band embedded around his muzzle and rescued. He was saved thanks to the two young children in his family and a fast-acting teacher. This week, his former owner was sentenced to jail and banned from owning a pet for life.
Sox was found by the SPCA Tampa Bay a little over a year ago when two children under the age of 10, who were living in the home, told their teacher that their dog was "dying slowly in the bathroom."
The teacher acted swiftly and called the SPCA Tampa Bay. When investigators went to the home they discovered the Yorkshire terrier/poodle mix in terrible condition, locked in the bathroom and slowly starving to death. Even more unimaginable, he was unable to open his mouth because he had an elastic band around his snout, which had cut through the bone into the roof of his mouth.
The SPCA investigators said the mother in the home didn't seem to care that the puppy was covered in feces and fleas and needed medical attention. The dog's former owner, Tieesha Cogdell, promised the humane officer she would take the dog to the veterinarian. However, when the humane officer returned the next day, the puppy was still in the bathroom and hadn't received any medical care. The officer took the puppy away after Cogdell surrendered the puppy.
The rubber band was successfully removed from Sox's muzzle, but a hole remains at the top of Sox’s snout as result of the severe infection.
Cogdell was charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty and this week, a judge sentenced her to six months in jail followed by one-year probation and a lifetime ban on owning dogs. She was also ordered to pay for Sox's medical expenses.
Sox was adopted a few months after he was rescued and now has a loving family. Lori Chambers, who adopted Sox, told ABC Action News, "The fact that there's a human being out there that would do something like that to an animal makes me sad." She added, "He wants to be loved. He shows us that every day." Sox is now doing well.
When Sox was first brought to the shelter, Martha Boden, CEO of SPCA Tampa Bay, said Sox immediately scampered around giving kisses. She told WTPS News, "This is what you get sometimes. It's just incredible joy. I think there's almost a sense that I'm better now, I'm in a better place now. I'm free of the pain. I get to be a dog, so they return that gift."
Below is a news report from December 28, 2011, soon after Sox's rescue.