PALATKA, Fla.- A Palatka Dog, tied to a tree for several months, was turned over to a rescue group on Wednesday.
Florida Urgent Rescue (FUR) picked up the 8-month-old pooch from Putnam County Animal Control after it was found at a residence in Palatka.
"This was not a situation where a dog accidentally escaped and got hit by a car, this was intentional abuse that didn't happen overnight," said Florida Urgent Rescue President and Founder, Mike Merrill.
Merrill took the dog home and discovered another wound around the animal's mouth.
"This dog has been in lot of pain for several months and because he was probably crying, they put a wire around his snout," he said.
Merrill has rescued countless animals over the years and said this is the worst case of animal cruelty he has ever seen.
"I've see gunshot wounds and I've dealt with a lot of intentional mistreatment but this was the most horrific injury I've dealt with," he said.
Merrill named the dog "Bud" and transferred him to the Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida where he'll undergo surgery.
"He'll be ready to pick up 24 to 48 hours after surgery and hopefully we'll be able to integrate him over the next few weeks but it's definitely going to take some work," Merrill said. "Fortunately, Bud is a sweet boy who loves being showered with affection and giving kisses, so he's going to be alright."
The University has an on-going partnership with several animal control services, so Bud's surgery will be free. However, FUR pays out of pocket for many medical expenses and relies on donations to keep rescuing animals.
The donation page is available to help out with the organization's efforts.
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