ROCK HILL, SC (WBTV) - Police in Rock Hill continue to investigate how a pitbull received several injuries that veterinarians believe came from being a 'bait dog' in fighting.
The dog has since been named 'Rambo' and is recovering at a 24-hour emergency care center in Charlotte.
Last week, he was rescued by two women after they said they found him left for dead on Vernsdale Road, just inside Rock Hill city limits. The women believed the area was some sort of animal dumping ground because several bones and another animal carcass were found near Rambo.
The injured pitbull has had to have surgery to remove a portion of his ankle. His other leg may also need amputation, according to veterinarians caring for the dog now.
"The left one is still questionable so he does not have normal pain sensation or normal blood flow to it," said Dr. Laura Dvorak with Charlotte Animal Referral and Emergency.
Dvorak said she believes the injuries come from Rambo being used as some kind of bait dog.
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"Having the tourniquet effect on the back legs seems to make us believe that some human was involved that he had to have ties around his ankles to have that type of injury," said Dvorak.
York County Animal Control officers said the dog's injuries were suspicious and passed along findings to the York County Sheriff's Office. Both Rock Hill police and the York County Sheriff's Department are investigating because the dump site is in a rural part of the city that lies by the county line.
"What we're doing now is being proactive from this point moving forward, we're going to step up monitoring of the area," said Captain Mark Bollinger with Rock Hill Police.
Veterinarians caring for Rambo have posted updates to social media sites, generating concern for Rambo both in and outside the community.
Late Wednesday, PETA offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
Rose Chmielewski with Every Life Matters Animal Rescue said she's glad to hear that police will be patrolling, but worries it is too little too late.
"I will be shocked if anyone goes down there and dumps an animal again, so I feel like it's too late, we're not going to catch those people, I believe it's going to take someone who knows something about this to catch this person," Chmielewski said.
For now, Rambo continues his recovery at CARE in Charlotte. The dog is expected to require additional therapy, and is currently able to walk only with the help of vet technicians.
Dr. Dvorak said it's possible that Rambo may require a prosthetic in the future, but will monitor his progress day by day.
Chmielewski said she has been overwhelmed by the community's response and support. If you know anything that may help investigators, call York County CrimeStoppers.