Petey the tattooed pup: Pit bull abandoned found to have been inked with LA gang sign
- A young abandoned pit bull terrier dubbed Petey has been tattooed with a notorious LA gang symbol
- The dog's stomach is emblazoned with large black letters
- He also had fleas, worms, an ear infection and his tail was broken in three places
- Petey will undergo rehabilitation before looking for a new home
By Alex Greig
PUBLISHED: 16:11 EST, 20 July 2013 | UPDATED: 16:11 EST, 20 July 2013
A nine-month-old pit bull found in Lomita, California, has had his tender belly inked with a notorious LA gang sign.
The abandoned pup was left tied to a pole outside a donut shop where Elizabeth Vivlamore took pity on the whimpering dog. She called the police who told her they would call animal control, but neither turned up.
The grandmother, who is on a fixed income, took the young dog in and fed him and gave him water before a trip to the vet revealed he had fleas, worms, an ear infection and his tail had been broken in three places. She paid for him to be micro-chipped, de-wormed and vaccinated.
Scarred: Petey has been marked for life with a tattoo on his stomach, but hopefully he will recover from the emotional scars inflicted by his abusive former owners
Cruel and unusual: Animal welfare workers discovered the inking after initially mistaking it for ringworm
Unable to keep the dog, dubbed Petey for his resemblance to the dog in the 'Our Gang' series from the 1920s, the pensioner contacted ROMP Rescue, and when rescue officer Randy arrived to pick up the dog, he noticed some markings on Petey's stomach that he thought was ringworm.
'I went and got an electric razor and I shaved off his belly and that's when I discovered the tattoo,' Randy told DailyBreeze.com.
Big, bold letters were emblazoned across Petey's pink belly in black.
'I said, "Oh my gosh, that looks like a gang name or something." I looked it up online and sure enough, it was,' said Randy.
The San Fernando-based ROMP Rescue saves dogs and trains them for permanent homes. Randy, who doesn't want his name published for fear of reprisal from Petey's former owners, was disgusted by the discovery.
Forever home: Petey's not quite ready for a new family yet, though carers say he's great with people but terrified of other dogs
'I can't understand why they would do that. The pain involved is obviously more than any puppy should have to endure.'
Randy doubts Petey was given any anaesthetic before the large tattoo was needled into his skin.
Abused: Animal care workers believe Petey was used as bait for fighting dogs
He wants to find Petey a home, but says the dog is not ready for a new family yet. The animal care worker says Petey is great with people but terrified of other dogs.
He believes Petey was used as a 'bait dog' to train fighting dogs and that he would have eventually been trained to fight himself.
'A bait dog is a dog that's used to train fighting dogs, and what they do is make the dog defenseless and they'll tape its mouth shut with electrical tape and throw it into a fighting ring and let the other dogs just destroy it,' he told CBS.
As a result, Petey shakes when other dogs are nearby, and he becomes frustrated, angry and nervous.
'His legs just shake,' Randy said. 'He's afraid of the world.'
Petey will need about $2,100 in rehabilitation before he's ready to find a new home. A 21-day rehabilitation program in Nipomo, California will help undo the damage done in Petey's early life and fix any behavioral problems.
A fund has been set up to help pay for Petey's rehab, and at the time of writing, organizers had raised $1,800 of the $2,100 goal.
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