SPCA officials said in a news release that the Kluger family dog, Chloe, was taken the night of Nov. 6 to an animal hospital, where she was diagnosed with a serious eye injury. The vet who examined Chloe determined that the dog’s right eye had been bitten out, dislodging it.
Gary Rogers, a spokesman for the SPCA, told the New York Daily News that Kluger was implicated in the crime when a family member told the staff at the animal hospital what happened.
“I hate to say I’ve seen it all, because every time I say it, I see something else,” Rogers told the newspaper.
Rogers said Chloe was in a playful mood when he visited her over the weekend.
“(Shih tzus are) friendly dogs. They’re popular dogs,” Rogers said. “She was wagging her tail and licking me.”
Kluger posted a video to his Facebook page Monday night of himself playing with Chloe. In the video, Kluger described news articles about the case as “very misleading” and called the vet’s findings of a “human-caused injury” false.
He said he would never hurt his dog. He also showed both of Chloe’s eyes, which, about a month after the injury, appear normal.
“You can see Chloe’s eye, right there, and there’s her other eye,” Kluger said, moving hair out of the dog’s face and petting her head. “There it is, perfectly intact. Yeah, no sign of anyone biting her eyes out, least of all me.”
He said he loves Chloe.
“How could you not love a cute little doggie like this?” he asked in a cooing voice as he rubbed her face.
Proptosis is not unusual in brachycephalic dog breeds, or breeds with bulging eyes, short snouts and shallow eye sockets, the ASPCA website said. Besides shih tzus, that category also includes Pekingese, pugs, Lhasa apsos and Boston terriers.
Removal of the eye can be avoided with prompt medical attention and surgical intervention, the website said.
Aaron Kluger’s mother, Mary Kluger, said their son was playing with Chloe when her eye “busted out.” She said he was the one who insisted the dog be taken to the vet.