A wrong turn by a real estate agent led to the discovery of an alleged “bait dog” that was left for dead in Rock Hill and now faces a long recovery after the amputation of one of its legs.
Rambo, a young pit bull mix, underwent a partial amputation of his back right leg Monday, and may still lose his back left leg, according to Rose Chmielewski, founder of Every Life Matters Animal Rescue. The dog had severe injuries to his back legs after they were possibly tied up.
Rambo was found Wednesday by a board member of Every Life Matters who is also a real estate agent, Chmielewski said.
“She happened to take a wrong turn going to show a piece of property and ended up finding him,” she said.
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The dog was lying in a wooded area off Vernsdale Road near Rambo Road, Chmielewski said. They took him to Baxter Veterinary Clinic in Fort Mill for treatment.
“He’s covered in gashes and what looked like bite wounds,” said Dr. Jacob Mauck, one of several vets to treat Rambo last week. “There were severe, severe wounds to all four limbs and some on his trunk.”
It’s not clear how long the dog had been lying in the dirt, but Mauck said that contributed to some of the wounds becoming infected. Rambo was treated with fluids, antibiotics and pain medication, and doctors removed the dead tissue from the wounds before sending him to a specialist in Charlotte.
Mauck said Rambo’s injuries aren’t what they typically see from dog fighting, but they believe the dog’s injuries resulted from some kind of fighting. A hog’s carcass also was found near Rambo.
“It looked like it was related to some sort of blood sport,” he said. “The way he was left, the wounds were allowed to fester. If these things happen and they’re immediately treated, they don’t always go this far this quickly.”
The dog, which Mauck described as “very sweet to begin with,” perked up after receiving IV fluids and pain medications and started eating before being taken to Charlotte.
Updates on Rambo’s condition are being posted daily on Ever Life Matters’s Facebook page. Pictures posted to the group show Rambo resting on a bed with stuffed animals and all four of his legs wrapped in bandages.
Chmielewski said it may be a few days before doctors determine if Rambo’s back left leg can be saved. She hopes sharing Rambo’s story will help bring the people responsible for his injuries to justice.
“I feel like something big is gonna come from finding this dog,” she said. “We found him for a reason for sure.”
Capt. Mark Bollinger said the Rock Hill Police Department is investigating along with York County Animal Control. It’s not clear if dogfighting occurred at the location on Vernsdale Road or if Rambo was injured somewhere else and dumped at the site. Bollinger said the lack of homes and potential witnesses in the area will make it difficult to develop leads.
“Unless anyone comes forward with information to help us, this one’s going to be tough,” he said.
Chmielewski said Every Life Matters is accepting donations to cover Rambo’s medical expenses, which on Sunday had already exceeded $4,000 at the Charlotte clinic.
Want to help?
Anyone wishing to make a donation toward Rambo’s medical expenses can call Baxter Veterinary Clinic at 803-547-8387 or visit http://bit.ly/1SkVowq.