Pam Perry says it's the worst case of animal cruelty she has ever seen in her years working in animal services.
But she also said it's one of the best cases she's ever seen of a dog overcoming all odds.
That dog, Phoebe, was found in a Clair-Mel neighborhood with a bullet in her head. Someone – police still don't know who – had buried her up to her neck and then shot her.
Phoebe's story has made national headlines, and the search is still on for the shooter, with animal services offering a $15,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.
"More than likely it was someone within that community where she was found," Perry said.
Their visit Thursday to E.L. Bing Elementary School may help them track down the culprit. Wearing her jaunty Santa hat and jingle bell collar, Phoebe wowed the kids, who couldn't resist petting and fawning over her.
Perry says some of these kids live on the same street where Phoebe was found.
"We have reward fliers all over the community. In fact, some of the kids said they've seen the reward fliers. So we're still looking to find the person or persons who did this to her. There was no reason for this. Clearly she's a very loving dog," Perry said.
A loving dog that will hopefully be going home soon. HCAS is taking applications for Phoebe's adoption that will include a home visit. She's put on 16 pounds since her rescue and her wounds are all but healed. They're hoping Phoebe will be home for the New Year.
"She's a wonderful dog, and she'll make for a wonderful companion. She's great with kids. She's great with other dogs," Perry said.
But first, she's got a date with Santa Claus. This Saturday you can have your photo taken or make an ornament with Phoebe's picture from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Hillsborough County Animal Services on Falkenburg Road. Families are welcome, and you can also check out all the other adorable adoptables at the shelter, which is now open every day from 10-7.
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