Dog missing ears, nose is stable, gets royal name
A dog found wandering southwest Detroit on Tuesday with his ears and nose chopped off has been given a royal name to match his calm demeanor in the face of brutal cruelty, according to the Michigan Humane Society.
Baron, a brown-and-tan Rottweiler mix, is recovering at the organization's veterinary Mackey Center for Animal Care in Detroit, said Kathy Bilitzke, marketing and communications director for MHS.
"He is so calm; he just seems to take it all in," Bilitzke said. "If you look at those eyes, there’s a lot of soul there. We thought Baron was a fitting name."
A citizen spotted the severely wounded dog near Livernois and Warren on Tuesday and alerted MHS, officials said in a statement at the time. Rescue personnel found the dog and rushed him to the Mackey Center, where veterinarian staff has been tending to him.
By Thursday evening, Baron was in stable condition and "in relatively good spirits" considering his injuries, Bilitzke said.
"He's doing very well. He’s receiving antibiotics, pain medication and healthy food. He’s definitely underweight," Bilitzke said. "The veterinarians are working on a treatment plan for him that will hopefully include reconstructive surgery for his nose."
While it remained unclear how much damage the nose injury has done to Baron's ability to smell, Bilitzke said surgery is important to prevent infection.
"One of the reasons for considering the surgery is there’s a cavity," Bilitzke said. "It’s an open wound and bacteria and other bad things can get in there. It’s prone to infection. That’s the danger."
MHS is now offering a $15,000 reward for information leading to the person or persons responsible for maiming Baron, Bilitzke said. That's six times higher than the original offering of $2,500.
"(We've had) lots of offers to add to the reward," Bilitzke said. "And we also had folks calling to donate. (The money) goes into a general fund and this is something that we explained to everyone who called. (The donations) are benefiting Baron and all the other animals in our care."
MHS officials have received "an overwhelming" number of tips, a lead cruelty investigator said Thursday during a Facebook live video starring the injured pup.
"Currently we are canvassing the area, putting up the fliers, letting people know that we need information on who did this," investigator Mark Ramos said. "We’ve received an overwhelming amount of tips and we’re following up on those right now."
PAWS in the D, a coalition of the Detroit animal rescue community, also has joined the effort, according to Bilitzke.
"They canvassed that southwest neighborhood," she said. "They've been doing that for the last two days, putting out the reward flier that we had."
Baron was lying on a blanket in the Facebook live video, his nose significantly less red than when photographed on Tuesday. He appeared calm as officials spoke about his recovery.
"Baron is doing remarkably well considering his injuries," veterinarian Shirene Cece said in the Thursday Facebook live video. "They are in the process of healing now."
Cece is the director of shelter veterinary medicine and oversees Baron's case.
The president and CEO of MHS also joined the Facebook live video to offer a hopeful view of Baron's future.
"He’s not under good care, he’s under the best care right now," president and CEO Matt Pepper said. "We have an incredible staff of veterinarians here and his prognosis is great. He’s going to find an incredible home after his long road to recovery."
Staff Writer Mark Hicks contributed.