DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Law enforcement in two different Quad City communities are investigating after two different dogs showed up at two different shelters with signs of serious abuse.
In both cases, the dogs were found by strangers and taken to a shelter for emergency care. One of the dogs, Emmanuel, who was taken to Kings Harvest Pet Rescue in Davenport, died several hours after starting medical care. (Clicking the link will show images that may be upsetting to some.)
"They are the worst injuries I have ever seen firsthand on any animal,” Kings Harvest Pet Rescue Assistant Director Rochelle Dougall said.
Emmanuel, as he was named by staff at Kings Harvest, was found by a passerby at Scott County Park Monday morning. His body was lifeless and the dog could not walk or lift his head when found.
"By his condition, this was abuse that was sustained over a long period of time for his body to decay in this way,” Dougall said.
Dougall said the dog was brought in and immediately sent to a veterinarian for treatment. Emmanuel would not survive the medical care, dying several hours after being found.
"He had open wounds all over his body, lacerations on his legs, paws and face,” she said. “There was a deep gash on his face that was clearly infected."
In a Facebook post, Kings Harvest said the dog was likely used in fighting as well.
"Our veteranarian said he was most likely hit by a car (approximately 4-5 days ago) and didn’t receive enough help in time. His internal wounds and bleeding were able continue once he was rehydrated which led to him bleeding out internally. His emaciation and malnourishment took weeks/ months of neglect for how thin his body was. He was also covered in gashes and puncture wounds which the vet said indicated Emmanuel was used as a bait dog for dog fighting."
Staff at the shelter was stunned by the dog’s injuries and know the dog was hurt at the hands of a human. It is why Dougall and the shelter staff are hopeful a new federal law making animal abuse and neglect a felony will result in stronger punishment against the people who hurt Emmanuel.
"It has been imperative today to know that we have that new federal law that has backing in a case like this.,” Dougall said.
The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act prohibits extreme acts of cruelty when they occur in interstate commerce or on federal property. If the people responsible are caught, Dougall is hopeful the law could be used and if so, it could be the first case tried under the federal law in the Quad Cities.
"A law like that really changes things, accountability,” she said. “I think that it gives everyone hope that cases like Emmanuel’s deserve justice and hopefully we will get it."
In Moline, staff at the Quad Cities Animal Welfare Center are helping care for a second abused animal brought in over the weekend. Angel, according to a shelter staff member, was found by “two young girls” who rescued the Pitbull mix after watching a man hang the dog two feet off the ground and kick it repeatedly. Angel is doing well after receiving medical treatment and is expected to survive.
Dougall, who was not involved in the care of Angel, is pleading with the community to provide hope and love to animals in the Quad Cities and has a message to anyone who is considering abusing animals.
"They don't have a voice and we will continue to be their voice but if you have an animal that you do not want, there are resources available to you to do something with the pet, instead of harming it,” Dougall said.
Funds were setup to help pay for the medical expenses of both animals. Dougall said the funds raised to help pay for Emmanuel’s medical expenses will be used to start a fund to help with emergency costs for abused animals in the Quad Cities. You can donate to either fund by clicking the links above.