While Nestor Salazar was out for a walk in an Oregon park one freezing cold night, his pit bull Goofy found a puppy at the bottom of a ditch on a creek bed. His legs were broken and his snout had been wired shut. But now the puppy has been given medical care and may soon be adopted by his heroes.
Nestor was walking Goofy in Gresham’s Kane Park on Wednesday night when his dog began dragging him off the trail.
“He started to get a little more agitated, looking for something… I was surprised that he found him, and he deserves all the credit,” said Nestor.
Down a six-foot ditch was a three-to-four-month-old pit bull mix puppy, sitting in a large box next to what appeared to be sewage water. Temperatures had dropped to freezing, and the little dog might not have survived for long.
“He was covered in feces and urine and a dirty, thin blanket that barely even covered him.”
His front legs had been broken at the elbows, and his muzzle was bound with a length of wire.
“I realized that thing was on him pretty hard because it basically squeezed his mouth inward,” Nestor continued. “It was awful. No dog should ever have to be treated like that.”
He brought the puppy home, snipped the wire, bathed and fed him. His daughters made the little guy feel right at home. In the morning, Nestor took him to the Multnomah County Animal Shelter.
Staff brought him to a vet for surgery on his legs.
“A difficult recovery if you’re a three-month-old puppy with two broken front legs,” said Mike Oswald, manager of the shelter. “This is a crime in Oregon, animal abuse.”
Investigators are open to the possibility that the puppy may be someone’s missed pet and ended up in the wrong hands. They are also searching for the person(s) responsible for his abuse. Another puppy was found with its muzzle rubber-banded shut in the same county just last week.
Police don’t believe the two cases are connected, but they are anxious to find the torturers and bring them to justice. Anyone with information on either case is asked to call officer Michelle Luckey at 503-988-6238 or officer Jenny Kimmons at 503-201-0067.
The second puppy, a Shih Tzu, was treated and adopted by one of the teen girls who found him.
If no one can offer proof of ownership of the puppy Nestor and Goofy found, Nestor is first on the adoption list.
“As soon as he’s available, I’d like to turn it into a Cinderella story and keep him myself,” he said.