A West Palm Beach, Florida dog who was severely beaten by his former owner has a second chance, thanks to rescuers and a good Samaritan who spoke up.
The Sun-Sentinel reported yesterday that Olaf the pit bull was in terrible shape when he was rescued: His face was very swollen, he had multiple skull fractures, he was missing teeth, he had infections and wounds, and bones were pushing out from beneath his red and white coat. The dog, who was known as “Bullet” at the time of his rescue, was taken from the home of his former owner, Phillip Rodriguez, on Jan. 10. Rodriguez, 19, has been accused of abusing the dog repeatedly.
When rescuer Danielle Cannon met the severely abused animal, he was terrified and curled up in a corner. She stated:
The staff [at the Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control] told me, ‘This dog came in yesterday and he’s been severely beaten. Can you help him? I said, ‘As soon as he can leave, get him out of here.'”
Olaf, who received his name from the magical snowman in the Disney hit “Frozen,” was rescued only because a good Samaritan stepped forward. One of Rodriguez’s neighbors complained that Olaf’s teenage owner had repeatedly beaten the dog.
The neighbor stated that she could hear the abused dog’s plaintive barks and also stated that she could see Rodriguez hitting the dog in the head. The neighbor even saw Rodriguez shoot a firework at the dog once.
Cannon, who works with the Big Hearts for Big Dogs Rescue organization, stated that cases like Olaf’s illustrate that people don’t realize the abuse that could be happening right next door. She stated: “When you see cases like Olaf’s, you lose hope in humanity.”
When Olaf was rescued, officers saw visible scars all over his body and legs – and he trembled in fear when Rodriguez walked near him. Both Olaf and another pit bull, re-named Elsa, were taken from the property and put into the custody of Big Hearts for Big Dogs Rescue.
After months of abuse, most of Olaf’s teeth had been knocked out. He had also sustained multiple skull and eye socket fractures. County veterinarian Virginia Sayre stated that Olaf had “no palpable fat on his body” and that this was “one of the worst cases of intent to harm that she had ever seen.”
Rodriguez, who was charged with animal cruelty and arrested on Friday morning, remains in the Palm Beach County Jail. According to Diario Palm Beach, Rodriguez was charged with “causing cruel pain and suffering.” His bond is set at $3,000.
And Olaf, the dog who Rodriguez allegedly abused for months, is on the mend – thanks to the neighbor who reported the abuse and the rescue organization that stepped up to help this pit bull recover.
The Facebook page We Are Olaf’s Army announced that Olaf’s abuser will be arraigned on March 3 at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time in front of Judge Marx at 3228 Gun Club Rd West Palm Beach, Florida, 33406.
Please attend this arraignment if you are able to do so. To donate to Olaf’s care, please click here.
And check out the slideshow to see how Olaf is doing now! Olaf will be looking for his forever family once he has completely recovered.
Please, if you suspect animal abuse or neglect, don’t be silent – come forward and report animal cruelty to the authorities. Animals cannot speak for themselves and they rely upon people to be their voices.
Updates to this story will be posted as they occur.
To continue receiving breaking news and information about animals, please click “subscribe.” You can also follow along on Facebook and Twitter!