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Elderly Beagle fighting for his life after he was shot, stabbed; reward offered to find abuser

FROSTPROOF, Fla. —  The horrific act of violence done to an elderly beagle named “Max” was so severe, it brought tears to the volunteers tasked with saving his life.

Max was found wandering on Dec. 11 near a home in the 500 block of Otto Polk Road in Frostproof, Florida. A good Samaritan cleaned Max’s wounds and then called the Hardee Animal Rescue Team (HART), a nonprofit based in Wauchula, Florida to save his life.

“Knife wounds on top of his neck and the big laceration across his back and a bullet on his head and a bullet on his ear,” said Leigh Sockalosky, the president of HART. “He got a blood transfusion. He was doing well, but we did the blood transfusion to boost him up because the tissue, a lot of it dies and you have a lot of infection you are battling.”

Max also had a six-inch gash near the back of his neck that looked as though someone took a machete or a butcher knife and slashed it open. The wound was so severe, the skin peeled down Max’s back.

The nonprofit offered a $500 reward for information on who hurt Max.

“Somebody that maybe knows the dog or knows where the dog lived can track down who did this to him. It has been proven, what one will do with an animal will result in them doing it to a human — and how much of that is going on unnoticed? That’s what I worry about. It’s not just the animals. It escalates to humans. More people need to speak up,” said Sockalosky.

The good Samaritan that called the nonprofit for help said she would adopt Max. Doctors said the beagle isn’t out of the woods, but he is a fighter.

“We see the life in them,” Sockalosky said. “If they are humanely able to be saved, that’s what we believe in doing, no matter what the cost is. We assessed him and believed he has a chance to live. We are going to give it to him.”

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