AMES, Iowa -- Ames Animal Control says a man looking through a dumpster last Friday was shocked to find a 5-month-old German shepherd in pain and bleeding heavily.
Ron Edwards is the animal control supervisor in Ames. He can breathe a sigh of relief, but it wasn’t a sure thing the puppy, named Moose, would make it after being transported to Iowa State veterinarians.
“Our only thought here was do whatever you have to do to save Moose. All of our staff, we were just kind of waiting on pins and needles not knowing if he was going to make it or not,” said Edwards.
But Moose pulled through, surviving the blood loss and avoiding infection. His owner, however, couldn't avoid police. A brief investigation found that 20-year-old Rashidi Simba owned Moose and ended up confessing to stabbing the dog after he went to the bathroom on the apartment carpet. Simba has been arrested and charged with one count of animal torture.
“There was excitement that someone is hopefully going to be held accountable for this horrific crime, but it also kind of brought back, as it is right now, those emotions that someone could do something like this to an animal that's basically helpless and would do something like this to harm an animal. We don’t understand it. We don’t understand why this happened and we probably never will,” said Edwards, holding back tears.
Word of Moose's recovery spread quickly. Reece Sodders said he was briefly roommates with Simba and was relieved to see Moose recovering and happy. Moose seemed happy to see an old friend, jumping into Sodders' arms and licking his face.
“Incredible, because that’s what I was so happy to come home for every day. He's so playful, and I love just wrestling with him,” said Sodders.
Simba faces up to two years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. Edwards says there needs to be stiffer penalties in place.
“I came from California which has very solid, well tested animal cruelty and neglect laws. So, it’s been really hard for me to grasp that we don’t have the kind of protections for these animals that we need,” Edwards said.
A piece of legislation that will strengthen Iowa’s animal abuse laws has cleared its Senate committee. Meanwhile, the Ames Animal Shelter says they are in need of donations as Moose's vet bills will end up being thousands of dollars.
If you want to donate, you can reach out to the shelter at (515) 239-5530.