The SPCA says animal cruelty charges are a real possibility for the owner of an emaciated and injured dog found lying helpless by the side of a road in Surrey.

A Good Samaritan discovered the animal Aug. 21 and it was turned over to the Surrey Animal Resource Centre.

Staff there named the Great Dane Eclipse because he was found on the day of the solar eclipse.

“He almost made me cry when he came in. It broke everybody’s heart here,” said Erin Bruinink, one of the people who has been caring for the dog at the animal shelter.

Eclipse was half the weight of what a Great Dane should be, shelter staff believe.

“He came in and he was pretty unhealthy. That’s kind of an understatement,” she added. “But he’s super sweet and loving. Loves to cuddle and play. His favourite part of the day is probably getting fed though.”

Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer for the BC SPCA, tells CTV News she found the pictures of the dog deeply disturbing.

Since he was found, Eclipse has been eating 11 cups of dog food a day. He also requires extensive medical care for a large infected mass on one of his hind legs.

He is on antibiotics and will require surgery to remove the growth once he is deemed healthy enough for the procedure.

To help cover the cost of Eclipse’s care, staff posted pictures of him on Facebook appealing for public donations.

At one point on Saturday, the SPCA was under the impression the owner of the dog had showed up to claim it. The agency told CTV News it had given the man until 10 a.m. Sunday to get the animal to a vet.

In fact, that order was given to the owner of a different dog and Eclipse is still in the care of the Surrey Animal Resource Centre.

Eclipse will move into a long term foster home on Monday to continue his journey back to health.