TAMPA, FL (WFLA) – Tampa police officers made a horrific discovery when responding to shots fired in the Sulphur Springs area Wednesday night: a young dog shot multiple times and tied to railroad tracks.
Police responded to the area after three calls came in around 5:23 p.m. Officer Gina Murphy found a 1- or 2-year-old mixed breed dog that had been shot twice in the neck and above the right shoulder and tied to railroad tracks with a belt, but was alive.
Officers Nick Wilson and Sgt. R. Mills freed the dog from the tracks and rushed her to the Tampa Bay Veterinary Emergency Service. Tampa police have named the sweet dog “Cabela.”
Initially, veterinarians thought Cabela would need to have her leg amputated.
But after two hours of surgery, the veterinary team succeeded in saving Cabela’s leg. The leg was full of bullet fragments.
Veterinary physician Colby Burns reconstructed the leg with pins and rods.
On Friday Cabela began her long road to recovery, starting with a bright purple cast that covers her entire leg and her shoulder. She is doing well, according to Tampa Bay Veterinary Emergency Service. She is resting and receiving lots of love.
The clinic has received calls from around the world. Co-owner Steven Pahl has grown close to the loving pup the short time he’s known her.
“What would make someone do something like this to her, look at her, how loving, how gentle. She has touched all of our hearts,” Pahl said.
In fact, so many people have contacted the clinic that they had to bring an extra staff. The adoption list is a mile long with people wanting to give Cabela a forever home.
Tampa Bay Crime Stoppers is offering up to $3,000 for information that leads to the arrest of the suspect or suspects in this case.
In addition, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay on Thursday contributed $2,500 to the reward fund to help find the person who abused Cabela.
A Tampa Bay businesswoman, animal lover and philanthropist Julie Weintraub told WFLA she and her husband are offering a $3,500 reward to help catch the person responsible.
“We need to find who did this,” Weintraub said.
Police say there were no witnesses and that someone in the public needs to come forward to help solve the case.