A dog that was severely beaten this week in Orting is expected to fully recover and donations are being accepted for his treatment, veterinarians reported.
Police brought Kona, a 3-year-old golden retriever, to Sumner Veterinary Hospital on Tuesday after arresting a man believed to have beaten the dog with a hatchet or a hammer.
When Kona arrived, his eyes were so swollen he couldn’t open them and he could walk only a few steps at a time. X-rays showed multiple fractures on his head and in his sinus cavity.
“As far as abuse goes, this is horrific,” practice manager Mike Lynch said.
During surgery, veterinarians extracted three bone chips and damaged tissue from the dog’s head. They also tended to puncture wounds in the dog’s neck, possibly caused by a choke chain.
Although there initially was a belief Kona had been fed rat poisoning, Lynch said the dog has tested negative for poison.
Since he arrived at the vet, Kona’s condition has been downgraded from critical to fair. He will remain at the hospital for several more days so practitioners can tend to his wounds and keep him on pain killers.
“The only thing we can’t predict is any behavioral issues that might stem from such a tragic event,” Lynch said.
An estimate for Kona’s care is unknown, but Lynch said treatment for dogs hit by vehicles can run from $3,500 to $6,500. Donations can be walked in or mailed to Sumner Veterinary Hospital, 16024 60th St. E., Sumner, WA 98390.
It is unknown what prompted the abuse.
Ricky Lee Knowles, 55, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to first-degree animal cruelty. Knowles lives next door to the dog’s family and was seen beating him with what appeared to be a hatchet, according to charging documents.
Police found Kona tied to a pole in Knowles’ garage and found bloody pants, blood-splattered cutting tools, a bloody garbage can and dog treats.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653, firstname.lastname@example.org