DUBAI // A stray dog that was tied to a pole with wire and pelted with rocks by children was "two millimetres from death" when it was rescued, a vet who treated it said.
The animal, which has not yet been given a name, was found in Al Khawanaeej by a passer-by who chased off the child attackers, believed to be younger than 13.
The wire caused a huge, near-fatal wound to its neck.
Lukas Juszkiewicz, from Modern Veterinary Clinic, said the dog was in a sorry state when it arrived. "It looked like it had been tied up with wire and had tried to escape," he said. "The wounds were old. I can't say exactly what happened, but I think he was tied up for a long time."
The animal has a 15cm gash on its neck, 3cm deep. Just two millimetres deeper and it would have pierced the trachea, causing a slow and painful death.
Dr Juszkiewicz said such cases of cruelty were not uncommon. "From time to time we see a case as bad as this," he said. "It is happening and it's not getting any better."
Jackie Ratcliffe, chair of K9 Friends, said severe cases of animal cruelty were normally seen once or twice a year. "You would like to think it's just ignorance, but there's a big element of cruelty as well.
"If you've got a dog and you can't see that its collar is cutting into its neck and leaving that kind of wound, there's something not quite right with you. That's not just neglect, that's cruelty."
She said it was particularly worrisome that the abuse came from children. "It's a bit scary. If children can do that to an animal, what are they going to grow up like? The parents should be stepping in at some point to tell them this is not acceptable."
The treatment for the animal is being paid for by private donations to the clinic, although there is still a portion of the cost outstanding.
Dr Juszkiewicz said the next issue after carrying out the surgery was to find the animal a home.
"The mental trauma is much more drastic than what happened to the neck," he said. "Fixing the wound, that's the easy part. We need to find a good home for this dog. He's ready to give trust to someone and be loved."