Possible ‘bait dog’ used in illegal fighting being treated at animal shelter in Branford

Please be aware that the photos in this gallery are graphic and may disturb some people.

BRANFORD — The head of an animal shelter in Branford said a dog that was dropped off at the facility may have been injured in an illegal organized dog fighting operation.

Four months ago the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter nursed a wandering, severely abused female dog back to health. Now, they have been tasked with the same scenario.

Wednesday morning, at about 8:30, the animal shelter received a call from a resident saying her husband had found a dog that was severely cut all over his body. The shelter could not identify him, because he was not wearing a collar, did not have any tags and there was no micro chip inserted in him.

The Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter posted on Facebook nearly a dozen graphic photos of the dog, named “Freedom.” The shelter staff named the dog “Freedom” because it was found the day after the 4th of July and the dog would now be free from this kind of abuse.

The shelter said it seems that Freedom was a “bait dog” due to the types of wounds he suffered. Laura Burban, the head of the shelter, said it appears the dog’s feet had been tied together.

Burban added that the dog, which is a pit bull – terrier mix, and estimated to be 5-7-years-old, had lost one of its ears and the other was badly mangled. She added that the dogs teeth appeared to have been filed down. And there were both fresh wounds and scars all over its body.

Burban said the person who dropped off the dog at the shelter on Wednesday said it was found on a local street. The Branford Veterinary Hospital was able to perform surgery on Freedom to save his ears and to flush out his wounds and is improving as of Friday.