He was found initially found on October 17th as a stray in the city of Bellmead, Texas (just outside of Waco) by an animal control officer. Shelter staff says, "When the ACO (animal control officer) returned the pit bull to the owner, he was very upset and began yelling and cursing at the dog." The shelter staff cannot confirm whether or not the owner was screaming at the dog because it had gotten away from the home, or because it was being returned to him.
Whatever the owner's motivation was, what happens next can only be based on assumptions and logical deductions.
The ACO returned the next day, October 18th, to check on the welfare of the unnamed pit bull, but did not find the dog at the home. Instead, the ACO found the dog wandering for the second day in a row as a stray in another location with lacerations on his face and his eye ball protruding from the socket. At that point, ACO seized the dog and took him into the custody of the City of Waco Animal Shelter and networked by volunteers and staff at the Humane Society of Central Texas.
The shelter believes that once the ACO left the scene, the owner proceeded to beat the dog so viciously, that the sheer force of the blows (either from his hands or with an object) caused the eye to pop out of the socket. No one can know with 100% certainty, but based on the observed interactions the previous day, they believe it is a reasonable assumption.
The HSCT and shelter staff members (and the kennel card) comment that he is a very sweet natured dog and constantly wags his tail when you enter the room, but the first day he appeared to be in shock. His "emancipation date", or euthanasia date, is stated on the kennel card as 10/22/2013 at 2:40pm, but animal lovers are rallying online to keep that from happening.
The staff is not commenting on whether or not an investigation is under way, or if charges against the owner are being pursued. He has not yet been seen by a veterinarian, as this shelter does not have one on staff. They could not confirm whether or not he was on pain medicines at the moment, but that does not mean he is not under some type of pain management--just that they could not comment on it.
To contact staff regarding this case, readers may call the Humane Society of Central Texas at (254) 754-1454. Long Way Home Animal Sanctuary & Pit Bull Rescue has placed a hold on the pit bull in hopes that funds may be raised to give him the proper care he so desperately deserves. To help Long Way Home secure that this unnamed pit bull gets a second shot at happiness, contact them directly here.
To follow his journey, see the original Facebook plea here.
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The author, April Plemons, is an animal rescuer and welfare advocate. She is part of Long Way Home Animal Sanctuary & Pit Bull Rescue. Check out their Facebook page below!
Long Way Home Adoptables & Friends has accepted him into their program. He will be seen in the ER this morning. The group is waiting to find out if it will just be an eye removal, if there is nerve damage, neurological damage, blunt force trauma, etc. that will need to be treated. Updates can be seen on their Facebook page here.
To donate toward his care, please see this link.
HERE IS THE LATEST ON GIDEON: He has wagged his tail the entire time since he first stepped out of the kennel, during transport to the ER, and even during the exam. The staff has fallen in love with him and loves his personality. Dr. Bielamowicz says that the protruding eye has to be removed, of course. It has started to sink back in a little which has GOT to be painful. We now know that animal control DID manage to have him on antibiotics and pain meds while he was there, but new swelling has become apparent all around his head. The other eye has limited function, and we suspect the retina may be detached---symptoms that indicate BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA. There are some lacerations around the eyes, but all of the injuries appear to be confined to the head, which also supports the ACO assertion that he was beaten by a person. He is a healthy weight, and VERY happy and loving. The Dr. is doing what he can to save the other eye, even if for just cosmetic purposes, but this alleged beating could very well leave him with one eye removed and the other blind.
This could be quite an expensive endeavor seeing specialists, but if you are ready to help save him, we have it in motion. We requested the ER hospitalize him overnight to give him some rest, and we will have him back here in College Station early in the morning. We will keep you updated. Thank you for your continued support, and all the attention he has received. We DO plan on seeking media coverage to help put pressure on authorities to investigate this act of assumed cruelty. We do NOT encourage vigilante justice. We will focus on Gideon's recovery, but we will be putting great effort into pressuring the police and the ACOs to investigate this matter. To donate to his care, please visit www.mylongwayhome.org or his Youcaring fundraiser page at:
**UPDATE** On 10/22/13, Long Way Home posted new details:
REGARDING GIDEON: Thank you for all your interest in Gideon and having such a passion about animals that mirrors ours. As you have heard in the news, there is a dispute on how his injuries occurred. We were asked by their shelter and their humane society to take him into our program and were told by four staff members and two volunteers that the injuries were a result of abuse, though the owners came forward days later and told the shelter that they witnessed him get hit by a car.
All we know for a fact is that Gideon cannot speak for up for himself. We have no idea who the owners were, where they live, etc.; all we know is there is a pending police investigation. We have not been contacted by police and have no part in any of those discussions or investigations. Any questions of that nature should be directed to those detectives and their shelter/humane society.
Our ONLY focus is getting him healthy, vetted, treated, and into a loving forever home. We answered the plea for help from their humane society, and agreed to take him into our program, which is where he will remain in a loving foster home until he is healthy. He will not be attending any adoption events or going to any Long Way Home events, for his own sake. Again, we were asked to take him into our program, and we happily agreed.
However these injuries occurred (what the several staff and volunteers all told us and details on which they based their plea for help, or what the owners said days later to the shelter), the result is the same. He was in critical situation and needed immediate help, so we were able to get him in a two hour long transport to us. That is what we do, and we thank you for supporting him with love, prayers, and the funds to get treated.
Now that he is in our program, you may follow his journey over on our awesome Long Way Home Pit Bull Rescue page. He got a professional photography session done today by our friends at Hearts & Paws Photography, and those will be posted tonight! Keep sending Gideon prayers as he begins down the road to recovery. From all of us at LWH, thank you for your continued and steadfast support.
In a strange turn of events, the owner/owners (the post did not specify) stepped forward attempting to claim the dog three days after the Humane Society reached out to get him into rescue. They claim to have witnessed the dog get hit by an SUV which caused the trauma to the eyes, though, based on TV news reports, police appear to be looking into the matter. The rescue states that no less that six representatives of the shelter and humane society stated the dog was an abuse case. The cause of the injuries cannot be confirmed, but the dog is staying with the rescue group and will be placed in a forever home. To donate towards his care, click here. To see his pictures and follow his journey, click here.