Rocky is now living his best life as a happy pup.
A dog who was shot in the face in April has started his next chapter, thanks to a city of Palm Coast employee who helped arrange for the dog's care, and a Flagler County Sheriff’s Office employee who decided to adopt the dog, named Rocky.
A Saturday afternoon call early last month led deputies to uncover a young dog who was suffering in his kennel with a gunshot wound to his face. Detectives arrested the previous owner on felony animal cruelty charges and the dog was turned over to the custody of Palm Coast Animal Control while receiving medical care. Upon hearing the story of Rocky, one of FCSO’s employee’s decided to adopt him, where he’s made great progress since his trauma.
“This was a really tragic situation that could have had an even more horrific outcome,” Palm Coast City Manager Denise Bevan said. “Our Animal Control officers respond to traumatic calls with animals on a routine basis, but this one was exceptional. I want commend Kasey Hagan and our entire Animal Control division for the incredible work they did to give Rocky a second chance at life. I also want to thank the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office for their efforts in protecting all Palm Coast residents, even the four-legged ones. On behalf of our entire city staff we want to say, ‘Welcome Home Rocky!’”
The story behind Rocky’s new chapter: On April 5, his adopter was working when the FCSO received multiple calls about an animal crying in the S Section of Palm Coast, and was invested in the case for more than work reasons. His family has been seeking another dog and when he saw pictures of Rocky, he fell in love.
“All the vets said he was a sweet dog and he’d make a full recovery,” his adopter said. “They needed someone to foster him immediately when he was released from the vet following surgery, so he wouldn’t have to go to the shelter. We agreed to take him right away!”
Rocky suffered a bullet going through his snout and bottom lip, into his neck and shoulder area, and through his left front leg. He had staples in his snout, a drain in his neck, a metal pin in his leg and numerous stitches. He couldn’t bear weight on his leg, and hopped around for short bursts as he’d get tired quickly. After five weeks of being with his new family, he’s officially been adopted, enjoys going to play in his yard and loves car rides.
“He’s able to put weight on his leg now, but still hops when he tries to move quickly,” his adopter said. “He’s very playful, loves his toys, is great with our other dog, and loves everyone he meets. He’s never even growled at us, unlike his previous family claimed. A little love goes a long way!”
Rocky is enjoying his new home. His wounds are still healing but he is on his way to making a full recovery.
“I’m glad to see this innocent animal is recovering and thriving,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “This poor animal has had a rough start to life, suffering abuse no animal should go through. His story touched the hearts of many in the community and I’m thrilled to see his progress. Thank you to all the personnel involved in his rescue and to our employee for giving him the second chance he deserves.”