Meet Van Gogh, the puppy left to die by heartless dog fighters who cut off his earsBy Michael Zennie
This is little Van Gogh, an eight-week-old pit bull puppy whose story is both heartbreaking and heartwarming.
Van Gogh was found under a bridge in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday after dog fighters sliced off his ears then left him - bleeding profusely - to die.
The Delaware County Daily Times reports that police are now searching for the monsters who maimed the little puppy - but they have no leads.
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He was hours from death when he was rescued and rushed to the Stoney Creek Veterinary Hospital nearby.
'With him being so young, and getting cold and getting weaker, it would have been a matter of hours,' veterinarian Dr Kelly Slattery told KYW-TV in Philadelphia.
Dr Slattery performed emergency surgery to sew up the wounds and stop the bleeding.
The wounds, she said, were incredibly painful for the little puppy. He would not stop helping when he was first brought in.
'The ears are very vascular, lots of nerves in there, so it’s a very painful area,' she said.
'It looked like whoever did this to him had literally just cut the ears off with either scissors or a knife.'
Buzz Miller is the founder of humane group PACT for Animals said dog fighters cut off his ears so that they couldn't be grabbed in the fighting ring. But the puppy's fate might have been even more gruesome.
'A dog this small can be used as a bait dog. It would be completely destroyed, horribly,' Mr Miller said.
But this story has a happy ending. Within two days of Dr Slattery completing the surgery, and after a few good meals, Van Gogh has regained is strength.
He's now a bouncing ball of energy.
His recovery was so heartening that Dr Slattery couldn't help but make a joke.
Her name for him, Van Gogh, is of course, a reference to the one-eared Dutch painter.
Dr Slattery says Van Gogh should not have any hearing loss or permanent damage from his ears being cut off.
After 10 days in the animal hospital for veterinary supervision, Van Gogh will be ready for adoption.