Three police officers, a veterinary hospital team and five detectives received well-deserved honors at today’s meeting of the Tampa City Council for helping to save the life of Cabela, a Pit Bull mix who was tied to railroad tracks and shot multiple times earlier this month.
“I’m humbled by the whole thing,” said Sr. Sgt. Rich Mills (the police officer at the podium in the photo above), according t Bay News 9. “And I’m just glad that we were able to get Cabela help and were able to bring awareness. And I’m very glad the community came together the way it did to solve a crime in their community, and we were able to arrest who we arrested.”
Responding to a call about shots being fired on the night of March 4, Mills and fellow police officer Nick Wilson found Cabela tied to the tracks with a belt. They were able to free her as a train was approaching.
“Cabela was helpless,” Mills said. “She wasn’t crying, she wasn’t whimpering. There was just no emotion, except for she was literally looking at us like, ‘Please help me.’ “
The officers rushed Cabela to Tampa Bay Veterinary Emergency Service (TBVES). She had been shot three times in the neck and shoulder. Dr. Jamie Davidson initially thought Cabela’s shattered right front leg would need to be amputated, but was able to save it during surgery.
Thanks to a surveillance video, detectives were able to identify and arrest the four thugs involved in Cabela’s shooting. Cabela had been bought for dog-fighting purposes, but was too sweet tempered. On March 4, Bobby Hollinger, 17, threw her into the woods and fired a few shots at her. But Cabela ran back to his house and sat, bleeding, on the porch. So Hollinger, along with losers Natwan Callaway, Darnell N. Devlin and Kenny Bell, walked the injured dog to the railroad tracks and tied her down with a belt. Callaway, who’s also 17, shot Cabela three times in the neck and right shoulder.
Callaway and Hollinger, who will be tried as adults, are scheduled for a court appearance on April 8. If convicted on dog-fighting charges, Devlin and Bell face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Considering her injuries, Cabela continues to make an amazing recovery, and is currently living with a foster family. She can be seen happily interacting with other dogs in a video WFTS reporter Jamison Uhler posted on Twitter today.
TBVES rescue coordinator Steven Pahl told the Tampa Bay Times March 12 that the hospital has received adoption inquiries from all 50 states and several other countries.
When Cabela is ready for a loving forever home, TBVES and the Humane Society of Tampa Bay will start the adoption process, Pahl said.
Photo via Facebook