The people at PETS, Inc. see animals come through the door in bad shape everyday, but some there say this one takes the cake.
A dog they've named "Cowboy," walked in their doors very timidly on Saturday with a tennis ball in his mouth, bite wounds from the nose to tail, underweight and dehydrated.
When they opened his mouth to determine his age, they were shocked to see that all of his teeth had been broken or sawed off, indicating that he had been used as a "bait dog" to train juvenile Pit Bulls for fighting.
Cowboy's neck also has a gray ring of broken hair typical of a dog who has struggled against a chain, shelter employees said. When he first got to PETS, Inc., Cowboy paid no attention to the employees or to any of the other dogs in the room.
"It's just an amazing thing that a dog could have been through as much as he's been through and still be so accepting and gentle with people," said Jane Brundage.
He was solely focused on the tennis ball that was given to him by the young woman who found him.
Cowboy is now resting with a foster family. He is not currently available for adoption because PETS, Inc. employees are still doing a medical evaluation and other tests on the dog. According to the folks at PETS, Inc., he seems to be excellent with small children and oddly indifferent to other dogs.
PETS, Inc. is accepting donations to help with Cowboy's surgery. You can help by calling 803-739-9333.
If you know anything about this incident, you are urged to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.