Florence Police make headway in animal abuse case; now say dog wasn’t dumped


Milagro, with a worker at Florence Animal Hospital on Tuesday before her surgery. Her right eye was bulging and was surgically removed the next day. (Photo: Shevaun Bryan/WHNT News 19)

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FLORENCE, Ala. – Police say they’ve made headway in an animal abuse investigation that sparked earlier this week in Florence. Officers say the story has changed, and the puppy wasn’t dumped in a bag on the side of the road after all.

The dog suffered severe injuries to her face and right eye, which was badly swollen and removed Wednesday in surgery. She was given the name ‘Milagro’ by workers at Florence Animal Hospital, which means ‘miracle’ in Spanish.  The dog is healing and is being kept there for evidence for now.

Police initially said a person saw a bag moving on the side of the road and called 911 after finding the puppy inside.  Police spent several hours looking for a white Nissan Altima with no tag, but now say that entire story was made up.

The dog’s owner now says the puppy was attacked by his other dog, as the adult dog was eating. A woman had also called police earlier this week to say the person made up the dumping story.  Police say the dog’s owner made it up because he couldn’t afford the veterinary bill for the puppy.

However, a veterinarian caring for the puppy, Milagro, says its injuries don’t match up with a dog attack. He said it appears the puppy suffered blunt force trauma.

Florence Animal Control officers have taken the second dog in to evaluate it as part of the investigation.  They also continue to question the man who owns both dogs.

He is not charged with a crime as of yet, so police aren’t releasing his name.

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