Area dog lovers are outraged after a pit bull was found nearly decapitated, but still alive, Monday in Floresville.
The male pit bull was found on the campus of Floresville Elementary School by school staff members. He was skinny and horribly abused.
"The dog had his throat slashed and he had some obvious trauma to his genital region," said Ashley Haines Chiampi of Alamo City Pit Bull Rescue and Rehabilitation. "I have been in animal rescue since I was a little girl and I have never seen anything that horrific."
Volunteers from the rescue group took the injured dog to a San Antonio vet who determined he had survived with the painful open throat wound for at least 4 days. On top of that, he had inoperable testicular cancer.
"His trachea was slashed, and the only way to correct that was surgically, but because of the anemia, and because of his cancer, he wouldn't have pulled through," Chiampi said. "I wish we could say that we were able to save him, but we had to make the heart wrenching decision to put him to sleep."
Volunteers named the dog Caleb, which means strength, and stayed by his side until the end. He licked their faces and wagged his tail before going under.
"People think that these pits are just these mean, aggressive creatures, and they are everything but that," Chiampi said. "He was very docile, very sweet, very loving. We only knew him for a few hours, but he really impacted our lives for the better."
While Caleb's case was extreme, Chiampi said it's not uncommon for her rescue group to take in abused dogs.
In the three and half months they've been in operation, they've rescued more than 80 dogs. Chiampi said nearly 90 percent of them had some form of physical or emotional trauma.
She's hopeful Caleb's story will serve as a reminder that there are thousands of animals suffering on our streets in need of a good home.
"There are 150,000 strays in San Antonio and we can become a 'No Kill' city easily. We just need to spay and neuter our pets, we need fosters and we need good adopters for forever homes," Chiampi said. "One dog at a time, we're going to do everything we can to save dogs."
As she focuses on the other sick and abused dogs in her care, Chiampi hopes Caleb's abuser will be caught.
"Hopefully the police can follow through with a lead and that man can be brought to justice."