MARCH 11, 2015 UPDATE: Two 17-year-olds have been arrested and charged with felony aggravated animal cruelty in this case.
After Tampa police officers Nick Wilson and Sgt. R. Mills rescued a Pit Bull mix who’d been shot and tied to railroad tracks Wednesday, her prognosis was not too good.
Although she’d been shot twice in the neck and once in the right shoulder, the dog was expected to survive. But Tampa Bay Veterinary Emergency Service (TBVES) veterinarian Jamie Davidson, who named the dog Cabela, thought her shattered right front leg would need to be amputated.
The good news: Cabela’s leg has been saved.
“Cabela came through surgery with flying colors and four legs,” TBVES posted on its Facebook page Friday. “The surgeon decided to pin it instead of amputation. It will be 6 to 8 weeks before we know whether she will regain full use and motion.”
The rather surprising and sad news: Cabela’s owners saw media coverage of her rescue and contacted the Tampa police department. They said she either escaped or was stolen from their yard four months ago — and, after reuniting with their dog this week, they decided not to bring her home.
“After a long visit where they were able to touch and cuddle with Cabela, they have made the decision to relinquish ownership and allow Cabela to be placed for adoption once her police hold is lifted,” TBVES reported on its Facebook page Friday.
TBVES is covering the cost of Cabela’s veterinary care, but is accepting donations via its website.
“All donations above what is necessary to cover the cost of Cabela’s care will be used for other animals rescued by Tampa Bay Veterinary Emergency Service (last year over 500 injured, ill or orphaned dogs and cats were cared for at our hospital) or will help care for injured or ill pets whose owners are financially limited,” the website states.
The Tampa police department is still investigating this case and getting many leads, according to USA Today.
A $5,500 reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest. The reward money was donated by the Humane Society of Tampa Bay and Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay. To contribute to the reward fund, click here.
Anyone with information is asked to call 813-231-6130 or 800-873-TIPS, text CSTB plus your tip to 274637 (CRIMES), or submit your tip via the Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay website.
“Meanwhile, Cabela is resting comfortably, on the road to a full recovery and preparing for her new life!” TBVES wrote on its Facebook page Friday.
Photos via Facebook