SAN BERNARDINO >> A 4-month-old Labrador puppy found with acid burns, an infection in one of its eyes and a jaw that was fractured in multiple places was recovering Saturday, Aug. 12, after a good Samaritan found it in front of a San Bernardino elementary school earlier this week, an animal rescue official said.
“His eye was so bad that we thought it was gone, including the doctor,” said Sedna Mofeley, 49, a veterinary technician at Loma Linda Animal Hospital, where the dog was treated. “And he just sat their wagging his tail with the most amazing spirit in the world.”
Mofeley, who has been a veterinary technician for seven years, but has been helping animals for about 20 years, said she’s been haunted by how badly the dog was hurt and she’d only seen one other case as bad during her career.
“I barely slept over the last three nights because this case is one of those you can’t get over,” she said.
The puppy, whose burns appear to have come from battery acid, was brought to San Bernardino-based animal rescue Poochmatch, which then took the dog to Loma Linda Animal Hospital, said Poochmatch president and founder Lydia Savala.
Initially, the dog was brought to a San Bernardino animal shelter Tuesday by a young man who had found it at the Monterey Elementary School campus, 794 Monterey Ave., about 2 miles east of where the 215 Freeway and Fifth Street intersect.
A woman who was at the animal shelter, Alycia Enciso, spotted the puppy and took it from the man, Savala said.
“She knew at that moment that if the dog entered the shelter in that condition it would be immediately euthanized so she intercepted the dog and took it home,” Savala said.
The dog was taken to the rescue Wednesday and then to the animal hospital.
Care providers at the hospital told the animal rescue that in addition to the battery acid burns, the dog had an infection in one of its eyes and the top of its jaw was fractured in multiple locations, Savala said.
Marc Ching, the founder of nonprofit group Animal Hope & Wellness Foundation, said the dog’s jaw appears to have been fractured by force.
Ching’s organization will take temporary custody of the pooch on Saturday and will foot the bill for surgery for the dog’s jaw.
It will also launch an independent investigation to hopefully determine whether abuse was involved and who the perpetrator may have been, Ching said.
One of the things Animal Hope & Wellness hopes to do is track down the youngster who originally brought the dog in. The group will also put up signs in the neighborhood offering a monetary reward for people who come forward with information about how the dog was injured.
Animal Hope & Wellness can be reached at 747-998-5568 or by visiting animalhopeandwellness.org
He said that the organization will pass on any leads and findings from its investigation on to law enforcement.
After about two weeks, the pup will return to Poochmatch, which will try to adopt it out.
“I have absolutely no concerns about his adopt-ability,” Savala said.
Though the dog was badly injured, and will still require significant surgery on its mouth, Mofeley said he’s been extraordinarily resilient during the last several days at the veterinary hospital and when he stayed the night at her house on Friday. She said he’s been playful, curious and great with people and other animals.
“He’s just an awesome dog,” she said. “They broke his body bad, but his spirit and heart are so strong.”