Last February, Basil found what should have been a happy home.

Instead, the 4-year-old cocker spaniel wound up homeless and alone, his matted fur masking maggot-infested flesh, his friendly nature tempered by a sensitivity to touch.

“It’s clear he’s been around the block, and through hell and back,” said Rebecca Warren, executive director of the Monroe County Humane Association.

Basil had been abandoned some time after his adoption this past winter, living alone until Animal Control picked him up in early August.

Finally, on Friday, he found long-awaited relief at the Monroe County Humane Association, where veterinarians anesthetized Basil and shaved him down to the skin to begin treating his wounds.

“When it gets this bad, there’s not much else we can do for him,” Warren said. “My heart goes out to him.”

Beneath Basil’s matted fur, Warren sees a happy soul. “He wants to be loved, and he’s really sweet; he’s just got some owies,” she said.

Warren said she spent some time with Basil before his Friday procedure.

“I fed him some cookies,” she said. “He’s looking at me like, ‘Pet me, pet me.’ I’m like, ‘No, you’ve got maggots on your skin, buddy. I’ll pet you tonight when I’ve got gloves on.'”

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