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Puppy survives two nails driven into its skull


Police have a suspect for the abuser, who 'would have to be a monster.'

By: Dave Catanese and Tim Tialdo, KY3 News

Melissa Sartin is amazed that the puppy survived.

SPRINGFIELD A puppy is recovering from surgery after a man drove
nails into its head with a hammer. When Humansville police brought the
healer mix to Springfield on March 4, a veterinarian gave it only about
a 50 percent chance of surviving.

A witness told police about seeing the abuse happen.  A police
investigation could lead to a criminal charge.

The dog is at a Castaway Animal Rescue Effort (C.A.R.E.) shelter on West
Sunshine Street after having surgery at a veterinary clinic on South
Glenstone Avenue.  The vet says the puppy not only is going to make it
but also has one of the best attitudes she's ever seen.

One nail was driven into the puppy's skull.

Another was hammered into his cheekbone, leaving him blind in one eye
and possibly deaf.

"In all my years of doing this, I was not prepared for that. I was in
tears just looking at the pictures," said Melissa Sartin, director of
C.A.R.E. "To think that somebody could do this!"

X-rays showed the nails in Trucker's skull.

"This is probably one of the worst cases of animal cruelty I've ever
seen," said Dr. Robin Toner, an emergency veterinarian.

With his head bloody and his face swollen, Toner performed a risky
surgery that saved the dog's life.

"I was worried," she said. "When I pulled the nail out, I didn't know
what was going to happen. I didn't know if he was going to stop
breathing. But he didn't. He just kept plugging along."

And he did so without ever growling or biting. Toner says it's
incredible that he doesn't show any signs of holding a grudge against

"He's been the best dog. I'm just amazed at his temperament. He should
be afraid of us, fearful of people and he's not," said Toner.

The puppy doesn't shy away when people pet him. Because of all he's been
through, they've named him Trucker.

"He just keeps on truckin'," said Sartin.

At the C.A.R.E. shelter, Trucker is learning to pick up on hand signals.
His tail wags through it all.

The puppy faces another round of surgery next week to remove a tooth
busted by one of the nails. After a few more months of rehabilitation,
C.A.R.E. will find him a loving home.

The staff also hopes the man responsible for the abuse is charged and

"(He) would have to be a monster. There's no excuse for it," said

Humansville police said Wednesday afternoon that they have a suspect. 
The Polk County prosecuting attorney received an investigative report on
Wednesday morning and will review it to see how he will proceed.

The prosecutor plans to talk to the witness who saw the abuse.  Police
won't release any names or further details.  

"Right now, it is an open case," said Humansville Police Chief Jim

"We have to wait until the prosecutor makes a decision on what's going
to happen and until that time we are not at liberty to go into a lot of

"We are looking for identification of possible witnesses," said
Prosecuting Attorney John Porter. 

"It's my understanding that the animal was treated by a veterinarian. 
We're looking for the vet report, phone numbers, things of that nature,
so that we can contact him and confirm the nature of the injuries to the

Any person interested in adopting Trucker can contact C.A.R.E. and fill
out an application.  It's a rather detailed application and the
process includes an interview and two home visits. 

The telephone number is (417) 875-6565.