An abused dog in the Upstate is capturing the hearts of people across the country via social media and is sparking an outcry for justice.
Greenville resident Candace Holden said she saved a nearly 2-year-old Great Dane, now called "Abel," from euthanization after he was dropped off at Greenville County Animal Care with severe injuries on May 20.
"Animal Care gets so many dogs dropped off there every week, they just don't have the resources to care and treat all of them, especially the ones with severe injuries," Holden said. "They sent an email blast out to rescues saying Abel could be picked up that day if a rescue group or foster could take him."
Holden said an animal group from Pennsylvania, called Remembering Normandy Dogs, received word about Abel and called her.
Holden said she fosters numerous dogs for several rescues and animal groups, and had worked with Remembering Normandy Dogs before.
"Remembering Normandy Dogs is a great group that helps pay for treatment for severely injured dogs being fostered and helps provide end of life care for dogs whose injuries can't be treated," Holden said.
Remembering Normandy Dogs said Abel was an owner-surrender who had been hit by a car, but Holden said when she saw the dog, she knew his injuries were caused by something much worse.
"His entire back was a raw wound, with dead skin peeling from around it," Holden said. "It smelled like cooked, rotted meat. It was horrible."
Holden took him to Easley veterinarian Ronald Outlaw, who confirmed the dog was burned with multiple types of acid.
"Abel was burned with sulfuric and hydrochloric acids," Holden said.
The veterinarian also found evidence that the burns were no accident, Holden said.
"There are older burns in other parts of Abel's body where skin and hair had started to grow back," Holden said.
Holden said Abel was scheduled to undergo a scraping treatment on Tuesday and would have a long road to recovery, both physically and psychologically.
"He's very fearful," Holden said. "Especially of men, but he knows he is surrounded by caring people now, so he's starting to come around."
Holden and Remembering Normandy Dogs have been sharing updates on Abel's condition through social media, and people across the United States have taken an interest in the dog and whomever is responsible for his injuries.
FOX Carolina was first alerted about Abel by a woman from Texas, who sent the news department a message on Facebook, calling for justice for Abel.
Numerous others have responded to Remembering Normandy Dogs' status updates about Abel by calling for arrests to be made, but Holden said an arrest isn't likely.
"We just don't have laws or the resources locally to keep these things from happening," Holden said.
"Malnourishment, mistreatment, physical abuse, and even torture like Abel endured is happening in our communities, and people will often turn a blind eye to it," Holden said. "If no one speaks up about this and local officials don't get more resources in place, these abusive owners can keep on doing this to animals and then just drop them off or tie them to the fence outside organizations like Animal Care, and there's just nothing we can do to stop them."
Holden is convinced that someone in the area has heard or seen something that could help lead law enforcement to whomever hurt Abel.
"A 100-pound dog isn't just going to let you torture him like this without putting up a fight," Holden said. "Someone must've heard this dog howling or screaming when this was going on."
In the meantime, Holden said Abel is getting the love and medical care he needs and the search for his forever home is underway.
"So many great Dane lovers have taken an interest in Abel," Holden said. "Once he's well, we're going to make sure he goes to someone who can continue to provide the care he needs, because he has a long life ahead of him and lots of love to give."
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