Animal Charity of Ohio -- the only humane society serving Mahoning County in that state -- rescued a severely abused pit bull after it apparently ran away from his former owners.
The dog, who has been christened with the name “Bubbles” by his rescuers, has scars on his face and his teeth were ground down -- indicative of having been used as “bait” in dog fights, reports the Dodo.
Amazingly, despite the obvious abuse, Bubbles was still able to show affection towards humans, as Animal Charity noted on its Facebook page.
However, they were soon shocked to discover that Bubbles was missing his tongue!
"That is when we noticed something wasn't right. He isn't giving us kisses," the organization wrote. "His face touches ours, but that's it. One of us wondered out loud, 'Does he even have a tongue?' We were horrified when we looked inside his mouth and found that his tongue is missing."
Animal Charity of Ohio did not initially know if he was born without a tongue, or if it had actually been cut out.
"He had escaped torture and abuse at it's [the] absolute worst," they declared.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) agrees:
Dog fighting is one of the most heinous forms of animal cruelty. Fighting dogs are typically raised in isolation, so they spend most of their lives on short, heavy chains. They are regularly conditioned for fighting through the use of drugs, including anabolic steroids to enhance muscle mass and encourage aggressiveness. Fighting dogs may have their ears cropped and tails docked close to their bodies to minimize the animal’s normal body language cues and to limit areas that another dog can grab during a fight. Fighters usually perform this cropping/docking themselves using crude and inhumane techniques.
Although it is a felony in all 50 states, it still occurs in every part of the country, involving an estimated tens of thousands of dog fighters, the ASPCA goes on to note.
The fights can last up to several hours, with the dogs suffering punctures, cuts and broken bones -- often ending in death.
As for Bubbles, Animal Charity of Ohio is hoping to find him a good home soon. Meanwhile, they are hand feeding him, and are amazed at how he has learned to drink with no tongue.
“Today is the first day of the BEST of his life,” the organization optimistically declares.