Abused Tampa Dog’s Leg Saved in Surgery, Pup Recovering

Cabela is out of surgery and resting comfortably at Tampa Bay Veterinary Emergency Service (Photo: WFLA)

Good news in the case of an abused dog found shot and tied to railroad tracks in Tampa, Florida: She is now out of surgery and resting comfortably.

The sight was both heartwarming and heartbreaking: A sweet pup on an operating table, hooked up to IV’s, moments away from possibly having her leg amputated.

(Photo: WFLA)
You can see Cabela’s stitches from surgery (Photo: WFLA)

The story of Cabela has touched hearts all over the world. People who hear the story of this Tampa dog are shocked, saddened and horrified. The pitbull mix was found shot, tied to railroad tracks, and left to die in Tampa on Wednesday.

Tampa Police rescued the scared dog just in time, after receiving a tip she was there. A photo was taken of a police officer holding Cabela like a baby. The pup was cradled in his arms and her paws were bloody. The picture went viral almost immediately.

Tampa Bay Veterinary Emergency Service is where Cabela is receiving care. She went into surgery for just over two hours Thursday night.

8News sister station WFLA was inside the operating room as a kind-hearted, passionate team worked hard to save Cabela’s leg, which was full of bullet fragments.

Cabela’s leg was broken from the shoulder to the elbow. At first, doctors thought Cabela’s leg would need to be amputated.

(Photo: WFLA)
Sleepy girl (Photo: WFLA)

But after Dr. Colby Burns was in the operating room for just over an hour, she told us they were going to be able to save the leg, for now. The doctor will put pins in it and put it back together.

But, this sweet pup has a long road ahead of her as far as recovery goes. It will be weeks before she can put pressure on the leg. As of Friday morning, she was recovering with nurses by her side all night.

Steven Pahl, co-owner of Tampa Bay Veterinary Emergency Service, has received calls from all of the world. He has become close to the dog in the short time he’s known her.

“What would make someone do something like this to her, look at her, how loving, how gentle. She has touched all of our hearts,” Pahl said.

In fact, so many people have contacted the clinic that they had to bring an extra staff. And the adoption list is a mile long. The story has also been in every major newspaper and every major network, including the New York Times, Washington Post, NBC News, CNN & USA today.

The people who did this to her are still out there. Tampa detectives are looking for the animal abusers right now.

Crime Stoppers is offering a $3,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest, plus local businesswoman, animal lover and philanthropist Julie Weintraub has put up a $2,500 reward, according to sources.

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