Bull, the puppy rescued from a Hernando County home, is recovering at a Tarpon Springs veterinarian's office.
Tarpon Springs, Florida - For perhaps the first time in his young puppy life Bull is receiving some tender care. "That's a good boy," vet techs whisper as they give him a bath.
The daily baths will help heal the puppy's physical wounds and gentle hands help heal the emotional ones as well.
* Dog rescued from Hernando home (GRAPHIC IMAGE WARNING)
* Rescued puppy recovering at animal hospital
"Everything seems very new to him; all the interaction and loving and petting," says vet tech Jacki Jensen. "But he is extremely sweet. I want to kiss him so much."
Bull was rescued from a Hernando County home on Monday. His owner voluntarily turned over the puppy to an animal services officer and then the Suncoast Animal League took over Bull's care.
The boxer-mix suffers from a severe case of mange and is 20 pounds underweight. "A lot of this could have been prevented," says veterinarian Tom Callahan of the Tarpon Animal Hospital.
After Monday's story, 10 Connects viewers reacted strongly. Posts on this web site include (the owner) "needs to be hung up by her toenails and left in the Everglades." Another person writes "Serious charges need to be brought here."
However, any decision on punishment for the dog's owners hasn't been made yet. Animal Services is still reviewing the case. The possibilities range from doing nothing to filing criminal charges.
With his bloody sores and swollen feet, the puppy still looks in rough shape, but Callahan is confident that in a couple of months you won't even recognize him.
"That's always been one of the mysteries and joy of doing this kind of work; that these pets get a nice home and they really appreciate it. They become the nicest pets," he says.
So for now, Bull seems to be enjoying his spa treatments and as he curls up in a kennel blanket, no doubt dog lovers across Tampa Bay wish him some sweet dreams.
Kathryn Bursch, 10 Connects