YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A dog found wounded on Stewart Street in Youngstown is recovering from severe injuries at the Mahoning County Dog Pound. And although officials don’t know who hurt him, they continue to look for justice.
At just two and a half years old, Rusty, the lab-boxer mix, has had a pretty tough life.
Rusty was picked up by the Mahoning County Dog Warden’s Office Friday on Youngstown’s East Side with scars on his head and two gunshot wounds to his left leg.
Veterinarian Technician Rick Tunison said despite the cruelty, Rusty still trusts and loves people.
“He wags his tail and gets excited when someone comes around. He also loves to go for walks,” said Tunison.
Walks are difficult for Rusty now with a front paw that was shattered from a bullet. A second bullet passed through his leg without causing much bone damage.
Rusty is undergoing treatment for his injuries. Right now he’s on antibiotics and pain medication. Even though he walks with a limp, his head is still high.
The person who is responsible is likely to be charged, if caught, with a misdemeanor and fined.
“I’ve seen it quite often lately. It is horrible and these people need to be held accountable,” said Jason Cooke, president of Animal Charity Humane Society. “The one thing I can promise is that if you commit a case or an act of animal cruelty or neglect, we are going to charge you. You are going to be prosecuted, and I will push for you to go to jail.”
Tunison said Rusty will probably never receive justice since there are no suspects in the shooting.
A rescue group is picking Rusty up this week to continue to give him medical care and nurse him back to full health.
Cases such as Rusty’s and others are why a local rescue group is asking people to help them out by thinking about becoming a foster owner.
Animal Charity Humane Society has 32 dogs, which is 12 more than what the facility is equipped to handle. Cooke says that fostering creates room for more intakes and gets the dog out of the shelter which takes stress off of the animal.
There is an application process for those interested in helping.
“You fill out a foster application. Our humane agents to a home check. If everything goes well, you come in and foster the animal. You are only responsible for feeding and watering and taking care of the pet. We handle all the medical costs,” said Cooke.
Most of the dogs in Animal Charity’s care are only available for foster service because they’re part of active cases.