The pit bull that was strapped with fireworks and set ablaze, only to be yanked from a truck bed and left for dead in the San Fernando Valley, is on the mend after several surgeries to repair burns that exposed bone.
Staff members at Westlake Village Animal Hospital told NBC4 they weren't sure the 3-year-old pit pull, nicknamed "Indy," would survive his injuries after he was left for dead July 4 in an alley between Kittridge and Hamlin streets in Winnetka. The badly burned dog was found and rescued the next day.
Now, four months later, Indy's "wounds are totally healed," said Dr. Daniel Slaton at the animal hospital. The dog's recovery included several surgeries and skin grafts with assistance from Dr. Richard Grossman, of the Grossman Burn Center, NBC4 reported.
"Fireworks were strapped to him and basically lit on fire, and [he] has third-degree burns on most of his rear legs, his paws and part of his thorax," Slaton told ABC7.
Along the way, the brutality of the attack garnered Indy a supportive following, including comedian Ellen DeGeneres and her wife, Portia de Rossi, who paid a visit. The rescue organization START also established a donations page to help cover medical bills.
Indy is now working with an animal behavior specialist, learning commands and adapting to being around humans.
"It's unbelievable to me, after what he went through, that he still loves humans as much as he does," Jennifer Hammervold-Chung, of Westlake Village Animal Hospital, told NBC.
As Indy prepares for a new life, no arrests have been made in the dog's burning. The man caught in surveillance video yanking Indy from the back of his truck remains free, even after rescuers offered more than $50,000 in reward money.
The truck was described as a white Toyota pickup with dark stripes on the side, a sunroof and a small extra-cab. It also appeared to have a toolbox in the truck bed.