11/17/2014 05:57 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Puppy Who Chewed Off His Own Foot To Free Himself From Chains Bounces Back 'Like A Pro'

A German shepherd puppy who evidently chewed off his own foot to escape from chains is making a tremendous recovery.

Rocky, who is less than a year old, was turned over to a California shelter by his owners earlier this month. Visibly distressed and missing a foot, he was reportedly in terrible shape.

(Warning: Graphic images below)

According to the Orange County-based Coastal German Shepherd Rescue, which eventually took on Rocky’s case, the owners told shelter officials they didn’t know what had happened to the dog’s foot, but they speculated that he might have "eaten it."

Veterinarians who later examined Rocky said he had likely been chained up, and the chain had been "wrapped around his foot so tightly that he literally chewed his foot off to free himself from the confinement and the pain," per a post last week on the rescue group's Facebook page.

"We took off the bandage and it really was a pretty gruesome sight, definitely took my breath away," veterinarian Maria Bromme told KABC-TV of Rocky’s injury. "It was really heartbreaking to see."

Rocky recently underwent surgery to remove his right hind leg and has reportedly "bounced back" already.

"He had a successful surgery and is already walking like a pro on three legs," wrote Coastal German Shepherd Rescue in a Facebook update Friday.

Bromme told KTLA-TV that Rocky is "already playing with a ball" and "running around."

"He’s bounced back," she told the news outlet. "I think he’s doing great."

According to the Orange County Register, it is illegal in California to "tether, fasten, chain, tie, or restrain" a dog for more than three hours in a 24-hour period.

Animal control officials are currently investigating Rocky's case.

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