Dog doing well after being attacked with a hatchet - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dog doing well after being attacked with a hatchet

by Danielle Wagner

LAMONT (KWWL) -- Dude is a two-year-old pit bull who loves to play... and sleep.

"He always sits here and lies on the couch with me. He's got to be by my side most of the time," said Dustin Smith.

Smith said he's lucky to be sitting on the couch with his dog. Smith said he came home one night to find dude outside and bleeding. He had two gashes. One on his back and one by his left eye.

"That went through the first skull, I guess they have two skulls, and fractured the second one. I think it busted his eye socket. Then he got one on the back. That one cut through his whole loin, broke a piece of his spine off in there too," said Smith.

Smith called the veterinarian who told him to run cold water over the wounds and to bring Dude in right away in the morning.

Initially, Smith thought another dog attacked Dude, but the vet ruled that out.

"They said the cuts were too precise and the same to be caused by a dog or car. Their first thought was an axe or a hatchet," said Smith.

Smith said his roommate chained Dude outside, and he somehow got loose.

"It catches sometimes in the cold and it must not have latched all the way," he said.

After talking to neighbors, Smith said he knows who hurt Dude. Smith called the Buchanan County Sheriff's Office to report the abuse.

But, Smith said the Buchanan County Attorney determined no charges could be filed in this particular case because of a section of Iowa Code.

The code excludes charges of abuse if the animal is *not wearing a collar with a rabies vaccination tag.

At the time of the attack, Dude was not wearing his rabies tag.

Smith admits Dude shouldn't have been loose, but he said Dude didn't deserve to be attacked.

He's outraged by what happened, but glad Dude's demeanor seems unchanged by the incident.

"You'd think after being attacked like that he'd be skittish. He's just as playful as he was before."

Dude's wounds are healing well. Smith hopes what happened to his dog can raise awareness about animal cruelty.

Penalties for animal abuse convictions vary in Iowa from probation to jail time. If a person is convicted twice, it becomes a felony and the person is required to undergo psychological evaluation and treatment under Iowa law.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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