CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Cleveland Animal Protective League needs the public's help to find three young men accused of kicking and beating a stray dog with bricks and sticks.
"This is so unimaginable. He is just the sweetest boy," said Cleveland APL President and CEO Sharon Harvey.
Around 1 p.m. March 9, a witness reported seeing three African-American men, between the ages of 16 and 20, taking turns kicking and beating a dog with bricks and sticks at the corner of E. 111th Street and Superior Avenue, according to the APL. To make matters worse, veterinarians believe the dog, who they've named Indiana Bones, had already been hit by a car.
"Just beating a defenseless animal to start with is bad enough, but now take that animal and it is even more defenseless and already wounded and injured," said Harvey. "Right now his spirit is wounded, his trust has been broken and, yet, he just still wants love."
Wednesday dried blood and cuts still covered Indiana Bones' face. On top of stab wounds and swelling, Harvey said the pup has a dislocated hip and fractured back leg. He'll need at least one, if not two surgeries.
"We want to be the voices for these defenseless animals," Harvey said.
Indiana Bones is on medication and antibiotics to help his physical pain. After the abuse he's been through, the emotional toll may also be tough.
"There are some animals that will suffer long term effects and behavioral changes as a result of a horrific act like that, and then there are others that they just instantly forgive and they just want somebody else to love them," Harvey said.
Workers believe Indiana Bones is about 1-year-old. He's a white and fawn-colored bully breed mix who didn't have identification or a microchip.
Because of the extent of his injuries and the surgeries he needs, Harvey said it could be a couple months before Indiana Bones is available to adopt.
The APL said there are questions about whether or not this case would fit into the newly created Goddard's Law. If it does, the suspects face up to six months in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Investigators said one of the men suspected of beating Indiana Bones wore a black hoodie with a Nike logo and black sweatpants, one wore a khaki-colored hoodie and jeans, and another wore a grey winter hat and a North Face fleece.
Investigators are asking anyone with information about this incident or the identity or location of the suspects to call the Cleveland APL hotline at 216-377-1630. A $500 reward is being offered to the first person who provides information that leads to an arrest.