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DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. — Police need help tracking down the owner of a dog that was nearly decapitated by an illegal tether.

Workers are now caring for the dog at the Kay Animal Hospital in Douglassville.

Officials told WSB-TV’s Matt Belanger it’s one of the worst animal abuse cases they’ve seen and they need the public’s help to find the person responsible.

“He didn’t have a lot of time left,” said Stacey Worsham with Douglas County Animal Services said about Frank, a German shepherd mix who was nearly decapitated by a tether pulled so tight it cut deep into his neck.

Frank somehow broke free and was picked up Monday by Douglas County Animal Control.

“He needed to come straight to emergency surgery,” Officer Ross Blackston with Douglas County Animal Services told Belanger.

Frank was in surgery at Kay Animal Hospital for about three hours.

“It took an hour just to clip and clean the wound,” said Dr. Melissa Boemanns.

Boemanns told Belanger she reconstructed Frank’s neck. Tubes can be seen sticking out of his neck so the wound drains, allowing it to heal properly.

Frank still can’t eat solid food and needs round-the-clock care.

“When Frank came out just wagging his tail with this horrible wound and he just wanted to love us it made the decision easy that he needed to be saved,” Boemanns said.

It is illegal to leave animals tethered and unattended in Douglas County. Fulton, Gwinnett and DeKalb counties have similar restrictions.

“Frank is a drastic case but the tethering — it can do this to any other animal in just a day or two,” Worsham said.

Worsham told Belanger choosing to save Frank was a difficult decision. His medical bills will total in the thousands.

“Every bit of money we’re using to save Frank we’re taking away from someone else,” Worsham said.

The group hopes someone will come forward to lead them to the person responsible.

“It’s incredibly frustrating because this person may already own another dog and may be tethering that dog out,” Worsham said.

If you’d like to make a financial donation, you can call Kay Animal Hospital at 770-949-7030 orvisit their website here.

If you have information that could help authorities catch the person responsible, call Douglas County Animal Control at 770-942-5961.