Friday, January 20, someone called 911 to report the dog had a rope or collar embedded in its neck, causing the swelling.
When officers arrived, they found the animal with its head so swollen it looked more like a guinea pig than a dog.
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Concerned citizens tried to remove the rope but couldn't.
The dog was taken to the Lenoir County SPCA, and then on to a vet for treatment. It took 3 hours of emergency surgery.
After an investigation, 55-year-old Tommy Lee Heath was charged Thursday with felony animal cruelty.
Bond was set at $5,000.
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