Officers arrested the two boys they claim left her at the spot to die on March 4.
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Natwan Callaway and Bobby Hollinger, both 17, were arrested and charged with aggravated animal cruelty, Wednesday night, Tampa police said. Hollinger was also charged with armed trespassing and possession of a firearm and Callaway was charged with trespassing, police said.
Police were searching for those responsible for this despicable act of animal cruelty after they rescued the female pit bull mix named Cabela, who is between 1 and 2 years old.
The suspects allegedly purchased the animal for dog fighting, but when Cabela refused to fight they decided to “get rid of her,” police said in a statement.
Callaway and Hollinger, along with other unidentified suspects, took Cabela to a wooded area near the railroad tracks and Hollinger fired at the animal, police allege. Her chances of making a full recovery are improving.
Cabela was injured but ran back to the home. That’s when the suspects decided to bring her back and tie her to the tracks before Callaway fired multiple times at the canine. She was shot twice in the neck and once in the right shoulder.
The group fled the scene but police viewed surveillance footage of them with the animal and an officer recognized one member of the group who identified Callaway and Hollinger, police said.
The two admitted to shooting the animal and were transported to a juvenile detention center, police said.
The Tampa Bay Veterinary Emergency Service immediately began caring for Cabela and initially thought her leg would have to be amputated.
But the agency wrote on its Facebook page Friday that Cabela made it through surgery and the surgeon decided she may not have to lose her limb. A pin was stuck in the leg and the doctors will need six to eight weeks to determine if she will regain her full use and motion.
When the arrest was announced the agency thanked the department Wednesday and said Cabela’s condition is improving. The cost of her medical care has been covered through donations.
“Cabela is doing very well, her bandage was removed last night and she is already bearing a small amount of weight on her leg,” the group wrote on Facebook. “Her chances of making a full recovery are improving.”
Tampa police also announced Thursday that Cabela’s owners, Darnell Devlin, 18, and Kenny Bell, 21, were charged with two counts of possession of a dog fighting dog after police searched the home where Cabela lived and found two animals with injuries consistent of dog fighting.
Police also said there was evidence of dog fighting in the backyard.
The Hillsborough County Animal Services took custody of both dogs, police said.
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SOURCE: NY Daily News