Puppy allegedly abused by owner makes great progress, veterinarian says

Dexter still in need of loving home


COOPER CITY, Fla. – In just one week, a mixed-breed puppy named Dexter has made a remarkable recovery since being taken to a Broward County animal hospital unconscious and severely abused.

Dexter's owner, Daniel Smith, was arrested on an aggravated animal cruelty charge and remains in jail Thursday.

Dexter was making his rounds at LeadER Animal Specialty Hospital Thursday, capturing hearts there in the process.

"He is super friendly, always giving kisses," Dr. Raz Peress, a veterinarian, said.  

The 12-week-old pit bull-mix puppy was taken to the animal hospital by Smith, 21, July 19. Peress said Dexter was barely responsive.

"He did have significant signs of what we call head trauma," Peress said.  

Peress said Dexter had four fractures to his skull, bloodshot eyes, a broken jaw and a bruised neck.

Smith allegedly told doctors the puppy had fallen in the shower, authorities said. 

Once doctors saw how serious Dexter's injuries were, they said the story provided by Smith just didn't match up and police were called. 

"What we suspect happened to him was trauma, was being hit, because if you think of any falling injury or anything like that, you are going to get hit on one side. This is multiple areas," Peress said.  

Doctors worked around the clock to help Dexter get better.

According to an arrest report, Smith denied abusing Dexter, but eventually turned himself in Wednesday.

He appeared in bond court Thursday morning, where he was ordered held in lieu of a $25,000 bond. A Broward County judge also ordered him to stay away from animals. 

As for Dexter, the puppy is still in need of a loving home. If you are interested in adopting him or want to help with his medical expenses, please send a text message to LeadER Animal Specialty Hospital at 954-348-7849.


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