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German Shepherd rushed to emergency clinic after nearly freezing to death

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It's a case of animal cruelty rescuers said never should have happened.

A German Shepherd was rushed to a clinic after nearly freezing to death outside.

FOX 4's Kerri Stowell spoke to workers at Blue Pearl Emergency Clinic to learn how it happened, and how he was rescued.

KC Pet Project will soon transfer the dog to the Plaza Animal Clinic.

The dog named Caesar was rushed to Kansas City Pet Project Sunday night.

Nancy Campbell with Missouri German Shepherd Rescue said the person turning him in first said the dog was a stray, but later said the dog was his and had been missing for a month. He eventually admitted neither of those was true -- he owned the dog and had been keeping him outside.

He was comatose and nearly frozen, as well as starving and unable to walk. He had to be carried in on a stretcher.

The owner admitted the dog had been chained up in the backyard his entire life, including this below zero weather.

Caesar has no teeth due to chewing, probably on his chain. And his nails are so long they curled under.

Caesar has spent the last day taking pain medication and sleeping on a warm, padded comforter.

Veterinary workers believe with some tender loving care, Caesar could make a recovery.

"One of his eyes is sunken, so he's had an eye disease of some type for a very long time. He is heartworm positive. He has a bad back right leg and he can not stand on it, it's extremely painful to the touch, and he is starved, so that doesn't happen in just a few days," Campbell explained.

Caesar will need dental surgery, eye surgery, and possibly leg surgery.

The dog's name was Jake, but rescuers have renamed him Caesar, because they know he'll conquer anything he's going through.

The hope is that he will someday be healthy enough for adoption.