When animal control officers responded to a call July 7 about a badly injured dog who’d been dumped from a pickup truck in a Colorado parking lot, they were a little startled by the friendly greeting the dog bestowed upon them.
The dog’s happiness was especially surprising considering the extent of his injury. The officers took the 3-year-old, who appears to perhaps be a Boxer/Pit Bull mix, to the Longmont Humane Society (LHS). An X-ray revealed he had been shot in the face at close range. His jawbone had multiple fractures, and the bullet was still lodged in his jaw.
“This has been probably one of the worst cruelty cases we’ve seen in our area,” Patty Henderson, animal care team supervisor at the LHS, told the Daily Camera. “He has a long road ahead of him.”
‘He Is the Sweetest Big-Headed Goof’
The dog, who was given the name Beefcakes, was transferred to Aspen Meadow Veterinary Specialists (AVMS) in Longmont.
“He came to us after being shot, and never stopped wagging his tail and loving on everyone,” the animal hospital wrote on its Facebook page July 11. “He is the sweetest big-headed goof.”
Beefcakes “was trying to give kisses,” Rachael Landreth, a certified veterinary technician at AMVS, told CBS Denver. “And he was actually trying to crawl up in everyone’s laps.”
Due to the extent of his injuries, as well as broken teeth and a heart murmur discovered during his initial surgery, Beefcakes would need a total of three surgeries. To help cover the costs, LoveAnimals.org, which helps animal nonprofits raise money for critical projects by hosting free crowdfunding campaigns, launched a campaign for Beefcakes.
Ten days later, more than $14,600 had been donated.
“Beefcakes’ story has touched the hearts of animal lovers in Colorado and beyond,” said Sarah Timms, founder of LoveAnimals.org, in a press release. “We were amazed and humbled to see their concern translate into donations for his care.”
Following his third surgery on July 17, Beefcakes has been stable and will soon be recovering in a foster home.
Justice for Beefcakes
After photos of Beefcakes were posted on Facebook, his former owner, who’d called the dog Ice Tee, contacted the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office July 20 and turned in Russell Middleton, who’d been fostering the dog.
Middleton, who has a criminal history, is facing three felony charges and one misdemeanor charge for the shooting. He is due in court on Aug. 27.
Middleton told officers he shot Beefcakes because he’d attacked his girlfriend’s Chihuahua.
When the staff at AVMS heard the news that Beefcakes’ shooter was in custody, “I think tears came to all of our eyes,” Landreth told CBS Denver, choking up again.
“It’s really great to actually see someone get brought to justice for such an atrocity towards an animal.”