In Sibley, Illinois, a heinous crime of animal abuse and cruelty has Ford County’s animal control officer, Darrell Foster shocked, reports the NewsGazette.
“I’ve seen a lot of different stuff, but this one just kind of really, really hit me,” stated Foster.
On April 20, Mark Gillespie had been with his own dog. The moment his dog ran out of the truck, he ran down the hill. Gillespie said that is when he came upon the disturbing discovery of a chocolate male Lab “barely alive,” hanging from a leash which had been tethered to one of the bridge’s posts. The leash was short and the dog could only stand, but was not able to move. He wore a “choker” chain collar around its neck, and the dog’s muzzle was wrapped with electrical tape; obviously to keep him from barking and from anyone finding him. Gillespie recognized the dog as belonging to his neighbor; he called to Bear, but the dog’s face and eyes were so swollen from having been beaten, the dog could barely react.
Officer Foster rushed Bear to Daisy Mae Kennels where he was carefully monitored. A GoFundMe account been set up to help with Bear’s medical expenses which have already exceeded $5,000. He has since been transferred to the University of Illinois veterinary clinic. Bear suffers from a broken jaw, dehydration, mange, eye infections. Bear’s latest update read:
“Bear was shot in the face; the puncture holes we thought were from his collar were actually from the gun shot. He has multiple fractures on the left side of his head and jaw, the scan showed fragments everywhere. We will be talking to a surgeon tomorrow to discuss what our options are. We honestly, at this point don’t know if the funds we have will be enough for this extensive of a surgery, but we should find out tomorrow. On a positive note Bear did come out of his cage today and lay down for a belly rub; that is the first emotion he has shown since this incident. With that being said no one is giving up hope he just needs all the positive thoughts he can get.”
Bear’s owners have since been found and contended the dog had been missing since April 19 stating the dog “got loose from his chain and would be back in the morning.” When Bear didn’t return, the owner stated he looked for his dog, couldn’t find him and went to work. Neither the dog’s owner or his wife have shown any concern about their dog. It is not known if the owners will be charged with animal cruelty, however Sheriff Mark Doran stated it would be very difficult to prove they were responsible for Bear’s injuries.
“It is not that we are not pursuing charges. We have sent information to the state’s attorney for review of charges, ” stated the sheriff.
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