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11/21/2013 03:33 pm ET

Pit Bull Strapped With Fireworks Makes Remarkable Recovery (PHOTO)

A pit bull that was strapped with fireworks, set ablaze and then left for dead in an alley way is now on his way to a full recovery.

When the 3-year-old dog, nicknamed "Indy" for "independence," was found on July 4 in Winnetka, Calif., it looked like he may not survive the third-degree burns -- some exposing bone -- on his rear legs, his paws and part of his thorax, ABC reports.

But after several surgeries and skin grafts with assistance from Dr. Richard Grossman of the Grossman Burn Center, the pup is almost ready to go home, NBC reports. Indy is also working with an animal behavior specialist to learn commands and adapt to being around humans.

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"It's unbelievable to me, after what he went through, that he still loves humans as much as he does," Jennifer Hammervold-Chung of Westlake Village Animal Hospital said to NBC. The hope is that Indy can eventually become a therapy dog for burn victims.

The person responsible for the attack on Indy has never been caught despite a $50,000 reward, KTLA reports. Surveillance video showed the man suspected in the attack driving a white Toyota pickup with dark stripes on the side, a sunroof and a small extra-cab.

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During Indy's painful recovery, he garnered a supportive following, including comedian Ellen DeGeneres and her wife, Portia de Rossi, who paid the pooch a visit. The rescue organization START also established a donations page to help cover medical bills. To learn more about Indy's case, go to www.startrescue.org.

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