A 7-month-old puppy, burned by a can of aerosol lit with a lighter, jumped out of a second-story window in Hobbs to escape the torture.
The puppy was then surrendered to Amazing Grace Pet Rescue, and is receiving the care needed. And a local veterinarian helping with treatment said the case is a bad one.
“I’ve seen a lot of bad things before, this is one of them (that takes a toll),” Great Plains Vet and Owner John Kuitu said. “He’s just a baby.”
“They said a guy sprayed aerosol, like hairspray, and lit (the puppy) on fire. (The puppy) then jumped out of a second-story window, on fire, screaming, laying in the grass, screaming hollering,” Kuitu said. “It appears he has third-degree burns on his ears but no broken bones.”
Amazing Grace Pet Rescue owner Brandy Abbott-Ellison said the reasoning behind the abuse is unknown, but could be because the perpetrators were just cruel.
“It sounded like it was just for fun,” Abbott-Ellison said.
Phew — as Kuitu and his staff call the puppy — is recovering from third-degree burns around his ears, eye, and armpits. And, like most other puppies seeks love from those around him.
“He wants love, all he wants is to be loved. At first, all he would do is growl, but now all he wants is love,” Kuitu said.
On March 26, Abbott-Ellison received a message on social media asking if she was able to take in “an innocent neglected dog … (that) has third-degree burns all over his body and ears.”
Prior to Abbott-Ellison receiving Phew, the owner posted photos of the puppy on social media asking, “Can someone please please help take in an innocent neglected dog?
“Please help him. He has third-degree burns all over his body and ears, his whiskers are burned off and his eye is burned shut. His pay is burned and his meat is showing in his ear. He’s constantly crying due to pain and his burns. I can’t take care of him and no vets or pounds open until Tuesday. Someone, please help this poor puppy, he doesn’t deserve none of this at all.”
Abbott-Ellison said she told the owner to meet her at Great Plains vet.
Kuitu said when he received the puppy, he knew he immediately needed to call the police.
“I told the girls we needed to call the police right away,” Kuitu said. “The police and animal control responded. I asked (animal control) what could’ve happened to this dog and he said it was pretty bad.
“I asked the officer if any charges would be filed and he said he didn’t know yet. He said there’s a chance it won’t happen unless someone comes forward. He said if someone recorded it and posted a video of it then there’s a chance something will be done.
A social media post claims to know the identity of the animal abuser, but will not reveal it.
“We know the daughter called the police too, and the police went to the apartment. She has a post up and somebody said, ‘So you know who did it?’ and she said, ‘We’re not allowed to say his name,'” Kuitu said.
According to Kuitu, the puppy is making progress, but it will be a long journey before he is healed mentally and physically.
“If other people try to grab him and pick him up he starts screaming. He has no trust,” he said. “They thought he had been kicked around some.
“He’s on heavy pain meds right now. We are doing a lot of holding on to him, loving him, and he’s responding to it. He’s doing OK for the most part. Mentally, he is responding.”
Abbott-Ellison said when Phew is recovered and able to fly he will be sent to a place in Colorado that will help him with trust and more healing.
As of press time last Friday, no charges were filed, and the investigation is still ongoing.
Those with any information are asked to contact Hobs Police at 575-397-9265 or anonymously with Lea County Crime Stoppers at 575-393-8005.
Donations may be made to Amazing Grace Pet Rescue via cash app Abbott-Ellison at $AGPRBrandy, or can be made to Great Plains Vet directly at 575-392-5513.