MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A case of animal abuse in Palm Beach County has dog lovers all over South Florida stepping up to help.
Veterinarians said the dog’s skull was fractured and he was underweight, but now he’s thriving thanks to a group that calls itself “Olaf’s Army.”
“When I first met him, his head was swollen almost two to three times what it is now. He was so depressed. In his eyes, you could tell he had checked out mentally,” Danielle Cannon said.
Cannon is a volunteer at the Palm Beach Animal Care and Control shelter, where the pit bull, formerly named Bullet, was taken after he was removed from his caretaker.
He was renamed Olaf, after the animated snowman from the Disney film, Frozen.
“When you have a case this bad as Olaf’s, you want to bring attention to this,” Cannon told CBS4’s Lauren Pastrana.
“This certainly is one of the worst that we’ve ever done,” said Dr. Jan Bellows with All Pets Dental Clinic in Weston.
He performed the seven hour surgery on Olaf.
“Sixteen teeth were extracted, three teeth had root canal therapy, and we removed a cyst,” Dr. Bellows explained.
The man accused of causing those injuries remains in jail.
Nineteen year old Phillip Rodriguez was arrested Friday and is being held on $30,000 bond for two counts of cruelty to animals.
According to the arrest report, the dog suffered “severe blunt force trauma to the head.”
A neighbor reported the abuse.
“When something like this happens you lose faith in humanity for a period of time,” Cannon said.
A rescue group called Big Hearts for Big Dogs pulled Olaf from the shelter.
The organization immediately got him in to treatment, which has been a pricey endeavor.
His dental work cost more than $10,000, even with a discount.
And so, “Olaf’s Army” was formed.
People from all over the country have bought t-shirts and donated money to help pay for his care.
Many plan to be in court when his suspected abuser is arraigned next month.
“Obviously we want to see justice for the abuser,” Cannon said. “But more than anything we want to see Olaf live a full and happy life.”
So far, Olaf’s Army has raised more than $5000 for his care.