Los Angeles County animal control officers have launched an investigation after a pit bull terrier mix was beaten with a belt and apparently shot repeatedly with a pellet gun, officials said Tuesday afternoon.
Officials described the 8-month-old dog, whose name is Blue, as "friendly and very social" and are hoping someone will adopt him.
Officers with the county Department of Animal Care and Control received a tip over the weekend that a dog owner was allegedly beating his pet, according to agency officials.
The officers went to the home near the unincorporated Florence-Firestone neighborhood that borders South Los Angeles and noticed that Blue was "favoring one of his front paws. He was holding it up close to his body," department Deputy Director Aaron Reyes said.
During questioning, the owner signed over custody of the dog to the officers, who took the animal to the department's medical team.
"What they found was very disturbing," Reyes told The Times.
The dog appeared to have been shot with several pellets, which were embedded in his paw and other parts of his body, Reyes said.
The pellets were removed and Blue was responding well to medication.
"He appears very trusting of human beings and has a real docile nature," Reyes said.
An animal cruelty investigation is ongoing. Anyone interested in adopting Blue can call Lt. Maria Rosales at (562) 658-2009.