A 100 pound malamute was found frozen to the ground in Hancock Monday, after being left outside all day. The Hancock Police have turned the investigation over to the Houghton County prosecutor who's reviewing the details.
Dr. Tom Cole of the Copper Country Veterinary Clinic says Sutton was brought to the clinic in the nick of time, which saved his life. Sutton still has swollen legs and winces when anyone touches him. His own body heat caused him to freeze to the ground.
The Hancock police brought him to the clinic after finding him completely covered with snow.
"Its core body temperature didn't drop below normal yet," said Dr. Cole. "Its skin was frozen, and really when you get a pet where you suspect hypothermia, just gradually start warming them with blankets."
Sutton's recovery could be long and slow. Staff at the clinic still couldn't get him to stand Tuesday afternoon.
The Hancock Police Department sent the case to the prosecutor's office. He is reviewing it to determine whether charges will be filed.
The manager at the Copper Country Humane Society says they see a few frostbite cases each winter. Kangaroo, a short-haired cat, came in with frostbite on his ears and tail three weeks ago. The stray was found on a country road in Baraga County, dehydrated and suffering from hypothermia. His hearing should be fine, but there is a possibility that the tip of his ears and his tail could fall off, and it's very painful.
While police aren't yet releasing why Sutton was outside for so long, Dr. Cole says you need to make sure that outdoor animals have a sheltered area and that their water isn't frozen. He says the smaller the dog house the better, because body heat will keep an animal warm. Use hay instead of blankets because it retains heat better.