He's only 8 weeks old, but one puppy has endured a type of trauma that's unimaginable. His owner poured hot sauce all over the dog, down his throat and even his eyes, according to Sarasota police.
"He's very traumatized, very weak. He's awake, he's asleep. He's awake, he's asleep," veterinarian Dr. David Smith said Monday.
Police say "Gizmo," a Dachshund-Chihuahua mix, was tortured at the hands of his owner, 47-year-old Ephrian Myles.
Officers say Myles dumped hot sauce all over the puppy after he wouldn't stop yelping early Sunday morning.
Myles' girlfriend scooped up the dog and ran to a nearby fire station, where they called the police.
Officers say the dog went completely limp in their arms.
"I thought it was dying if it wasn't already dead. It wasn't breathing. Its eyes weren't open, it wasn't moving at all," Sarasota Police Officer Jessica Sullivan said.
Just a day later, the pup is proving to have a lot of fight in his pint-sized body. But Smith says it's going to be a long road of recovery for Gizmo. When they got him, his eyes were swollen shut, his sinuses were inflamed, and his malnourished body was covered in fleas.
"Just the traumatic incident in a puppy that small, they don't have the wherewithal to withstand that type of abuse," Smith said.
While the odds were stacked against him, Smith says Gizmo is recovering well, and will spend the next few weeks getting the love he's never known.
"Somebody has to stand up for these guys, they can't stand up for themselves," Smith said.
Myles is being held in the Sarasota County Jail on felony animal cruelty charges.
After Gizmo is rehabilitated, he'll go back to Sarasota Animal Services to be placed in a foster home. Vets say hopefully after that, he'll be up for adoption.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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