An adorable puppy, aptly named "Trooper," has made a miracle recovery after being tied to a truck and dragged down a highway in Missouri. As the pup continues to heal, authorities are offering a big reward for anyone with information on the crime.
On Nov. 21, the Humane Society of Missouri (HSM) responded to a call from St. Louis City Police regarding a severely injured dog tethered to the back of a truck and dragged down Highway 55, the New York Daily News reported. The pitbull puppy had been dragged for 1.6 miles. Once on the scene, HSM found 5-month-old Trooper, a male, golden brown pitbull, and the visibly distraught driver. The trucker had been alerted by a fellow driver and pulled over to discover the puppy wearing a leash and collar tied to his vehicle, but said he had no idea how the animal got there.
"It’s shocking when an animal is abused to this extent," Missouri Humane Society spokeswoman Jean Jay told Fox News. "We are following up on some leads and tips we've received in cooperation with law enforcement." Adding, "The dog is well for what he's been through. He is remarkably calm and friendly."
Even before the pup was dragged down the highway, he appeared to have struggled under the care of an abusive owner, the Daily News reported. His bones were visible through his fur.
The dragged pitbull puppy is making a miracle recovery after sustaining injuries to his face, ears, shoulder, legs and right side, according to the Suburban Journals of Greater St. Louis. One of his legs may have to be amputated.
“We're taking it day by day,” Debbie Hill, vice president of operations for HSM, told the Suburban Journals. “It's amazing that he survived it all. Imagine what it was like for this dog. Much of his skin was burned off, but we're seeing some pink skin when we change the bandages. He also was a bit undernourished, so we're helping him with that, too.” Adding, “Trooper can stand and walk. His tail was not injured and he still wags his tail. Trooper has a lot of spirit in him.”
Media attention surrounding the miracle pitbull puppy has adoptees lining up, according to Yahoo! News. "Along with numerous treats, cards and donations coming in, we have had 'overwhelming' interest to adopt him," an HSM representative said.
The reward for information on the incident has doubled from $2,500 to $5,000, according to KMOV St. Louis. “We are following several leads and are pleased to announce that the reward has been doubled,” Mike Perkins, director of HSMO’s Animal Cruelty Task Force, told the station. “The reward is now $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for this horrible crime.”
A Facebook page, "Team Trooper," has been set up to collect donations and share news about the puppy's progress.
Anyone with information should contact the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Abuse Hot Line at 314-647-4400.
Check out photos of Trooper's recovery below, courtesy of the Humane Society of Missouri's "Team Trooper" Facebook page.