Parasites are a common problem for pets, so this dog owner wasn’t overly concerned about the marks on her canine companion. However, the more she looked at the punctures, the more she noticed that there was something unusual about them. Then suddenly she realized what they were, and she had to act fast.
The woman in question was Hayden Howard, a 24-year-old mother who lives in Seymour, Indiana. She and her son, Noah, share their home with Jackson, an English mastiff puppy. And one Saturday night in April 2017, Howard noticed something unusual about her dog.
Mind you, it wasn’t that Jackson was acting differently; indeed, if anything, there was no change in his behavior. But after spending some time in their enclosed yard, Howard saw that the dog seemed to be covered in something. At first, though, she thought little of it.
“He had some marks on him, and we thought they were bug bites,” Howard told Fox News in April 2017. And since Jackson was apparently unconcerned by the marks, naturally, his family didn’t worry either. Nevertheless, Howard decided to keep an eye on the family dog.
Subsequently, over the weekend that followed, she became more worried about Jackson’s “bug bites.” It was then that she took a closer look at the marks and realized they weren’t bites at all. Indeed, Jackson’s fur was hiding something far worse.
“[On] Saturday night, I started noticing holes on him,” Howard explained to Fox News. And although she didn’t know what could have caused them, it was clear that the punctures needed attention. As a result, Jackson was taken to the veterinarian the following Monday.
The dog was seen at the Seymour Animal Hospital by Dr. Steve Sunbury, who revealed what the marks were. The veterinarian must certainly have been troubled when he discovered the truth – but not as troubled as Howard. In fact, the holes were not bug bites but, rather, evidence of sadistic animal cruelty.
The punctures that peppered poor Jackson were wounds made by a BB gun. “I was completely shocked that they were pulling BBs and pellets out of my dog,” Howard told Whas11 in April 2017. But the only explanation was that someone had been intentionally targeting Jackson.
Although BB guns are not as powerful as regular firearms, they can still be very dangerous. The weapons are powered by air canisters and use compressed gas or air to fire small metal projectiles. Moreover, in the wrong hands they can cause serious harm.
The risk of severe injury furthermore increases with the projectile’s velocity. Within a specific range, each projectile can damage bone or even inflict enough damage to kill. And as Howard looked on, Dr. Sunbury was pulling more and more metal objects out of Jackson.
In fact, a total of 21 BB projectiles and seven metal pellets were removed from Jackson’s body that day. All told, the dog was suffering from in excess of 50 wounds. “I was in shock; I didn’t even know what to think,” Howard told Fox News.
“There was one under his eyelid, there was one in his ear, one in his knee,” she continued. “They were all over [and] underneath of him. [The vet] came out there and… showed me all these little BBs. I just didn’t know what to say or what to do.”
Understandably disturbed by the attack, Howard contacted the Seymour Police Department (SPD). Moreover, the authorities were shocked by the level of cruelty on display and went to the Howard yard to investigate. It was there that they discovered evidence of the vicious attack.
Police officers searching the property found a number of fired BB projectiles wedged in one of the yard’s trees. And not only could these help the department to find the potential perpetrator or perpetrators, but they also revealed something else. The pellets allowed officers to estimate the number of shots that had been aimed at Jackson.
“[There were] 20-some pulled out of him, 20-some that were probably still in him,” Howard told Fox News. “And then over 20-some that probably hit him and bounced off. There were probably over 60-some that actually were shot at him.”
Furthermore, the pellets in the tree also indicated the direction that the shots were fired from, and the police followed the trajectory to Howard’s next door neighbor. It was enough evidence to get them a warrant to search the property, and sure enough, they found something.
Well, to be more precise, they found a lot of things. The SPD uncovered physical evidence that could be related to the shooting, but it has remained confidential. At any rate, two guns, a BB and a pellet gun, were found in a man’s possession, while he was also arrested for another offense.
C.J. Foster, detective sergeant of the SPD, told Fox News, “Additionally, officers and detectives located methamphetamine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia.” The neighbor, who has been named as Tim Woodward, was taken into custody, although no animal cruelty charges have been proven as yet.
Police are, however, hopeful that forensic evidence will lead them to discover the truth behind the shooting. Meanwhile, Howard is baffled as to why anyone would hurt Jackson. “He’s a big baby. He’s shy,” she told WDRB in April 2017. “But other than that he’s a lovable dog. He loves my son, Noah.”
At the time of writing, a $500 reward was being offered for information leading to charges relating to the attack. And while the investigation is still underway, Sunbury said that Jackson wasn’t suffering anymore. The most important thing is that after a course of pain medication and antibiotics, the dog is now set to make a complete recovery.
Tragically, though, a BB gun attack is not the only brutal method that has been used to assault a poor pooch. After being starved almost to death, Patrick the pit bull was abandoned outside of his home. And there was more unimaginable suffering yet to come. When someone seemingly grew tired of looking at Patrick, the dog was heartbreakingly hurled down a garbage chute like an old piece of trash.
Patrick the dog had no idea what he’d done wrong. He’d been left out in the cold by his owner for over a week. Then, just when he must have thought his ordeal was over, someone threw him down a garbage chute and into the claws of an awaiting compactor. But mercifully, just as the crusher approached, someone decided to check the trash.
At just one year old, Patrick the pit bull had seemingly known little but pain and misery. He lived in an apartment in Newark, New Jersey, with a callous owner who neglected and abandoned him. But shockingly, his predicament would get even worse.
The dog’s owner, Kisha Curtis, had been starving Patrick for most of his short life. Indeed, by this point, Patrick was simply an emaciated bag of flesh and bones.
Then, in March 2011, Curtis decided to leave the state for a week. But rather than sort out proper care for her pet, she simply tied him up outside her apartment block and left him. However, his suffering didn’t end there.
At some point, an unknown person wrapped the dog in plastic and threw him down a garbage chute. It’s believed that the poor pit bull fell 22 floors before hitting the ground. But despite the fact that he’d somehow survived the drop, Patrick wasn’t out of the woods yet.
Indeed, the animal was just seconds away from being crushed to death by a trash compactor. Fortunately, though, the building’s janitor was sorting the garbage that day. And just as Patrick was about to meet a sticky end in the machine, the janitor noticed some movement in the plastic.
When he unwrapped the plastic, he was presented with a truly horrifying spectacle: Patrick in his skeletal state. Patrick was shivering with cold and was surely at death’s door. However, the janitor did the right thing.
He contacted the City of Newark Animal Control, which in turn called New Jersey’s Associated Humane Societies. The organization rescued the dog the day before St. Patrick’s Day – hence his name – and he would certainly need some of that famous Irish luck.
A rescue team rushed Patrick to a nearby veterinary clinic where he was placed on an IV drip. Vets also discovered that Patrick only weighed an astonishing 19 pounds. Plus, his temperature had plummeted to the point where it could no longer be picked up by a medical thermometer.
So staff at the clinic covered the dog in blankets and applied heated pads. Technician Gina DeSalvo then held Patrick in her arms. Not only did her touch provide him with a little warmth, but it surely also reassured him that he was now in a safe place.
“This is not a month of starvation,” Dr. Thomas Scavelli, owner of the Garden State Veterinary Specialists, told the Daily Mail in 2012. “This is a lifetime probably, or at least months and months of neglect. To see the way he cares for people and trusts people, that’s really been the most interesting and rewarding thing to see about the canine spirit.”
Before Patrick would be able to eat again, though, surgeons had to remove a large hair ball from his stomach. After that, Patrick would rely on a specialist diet and medicine to aid his recovery. Vets also administered three blood transfusions and put the dog on a course of physical therapy.
As the weeks passed, Patrick gradually began to recover. He started to put on weight, for instance, and he was able to consume solid food. And pretty soon, the dog’s vibrant personality began to shine through for all to see.
Two of his favorite things to do were taking long walks in the sun and playing with his toys indoors. And now that he was getting the care and attention he’d been denied for so long, Patrick seemed to be making up for lost time.
While Patrick was finally in safe hands, his former owner, Curtis, was charged with animal neglect and abandonment. She later pleaded guilty to fourth-degree animal cruelty and was given a sentence of a year and a half of parole. Curtis admitted to leaving Patrick tied up outside but denied throwing him down the garbage chute.
Throughout Patrick’s treatment, staff from Garden State Veterinary Specialists took to social media in order to keep well-wishers updated with his progress. And it seemed that the dog’s extraordinary story captured many people’s hearts. As a result, the clinic was inundated with letters, donations and toys.
“In the 17 years we’ve been here we’ve never seen this type of response to an animal,” Patricia Smillie-Scavelli, wife of Dr. Scavelli and clinic administrator, told the Daily Mail. “There’s something about Patrick that has really sparked interest, honestly, from throughout the entire world.”
Meanwhile, Patrick also had a profound affect on Smillie-Scavelli herself. So much so, in fact, that she decided to adopt the dog once he was better. Today, the dog is completely unrecognizable. Not only is he a healthy weight, but he’s also always sporting a winning smile.
Despite everything he’d been through, it seems Patrick only has space for kindness in his heart. “He really gives love,” Patricia Smillie-Scavelli told the Irish Central news website. She added, “He climbs into your lap. He would prefer to sit in your lap than lay on the floor. He also sleeps in our bed at night, along with the cat.”
So while Patrick had suffered hugely at the hands of humans, he is still, somehow, able to trust them. At least now he’s experiencing the kindness of people for the first time. While someone threw him away just like a piece of trash, he turned out to be a real treasure.