ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Investigators are looking for the person who left a severely injured dog for dead on Route 66 in the East Mountains. Thankfully, he’s getting a second chance after a good Samaritan stepped in and took him to Animal Humane New Mexico

Arnold seems like a happy-go-lucky pup now, but just about a month ago he nearly lost his life. Jessica Whittet spotted Arnold, left for dead, on the side of the road along Route 66 in Carnuel. “I pulled over and he was swaying back and forth and so I got down on my hands and knees and I was like come here, come here and he came to me and I saw how badly injured he was,” said Whittet. 

Whittet initially thought a mountain lion or coyote got to him. However, Animal Humane said his injuries were some of the worst they’ve ever seen and caused by something else. “He had multiple lacerations across his head shoulders and ribs, we believe those lacerations were human inflicted,” said Val Wilson, the Director of Veterinary Operations for Animal Humane NM. 

Wilson said he had to undergo emergency surgery, since then he has made a remarkable recovery and was adopted by a family Tuesday morning. “He’s trustworthy of humans again and immediately within 24 hours, to love us and trust us, that we are taking care of him, it means the world, this is why most of us are in this profession,” said Wilson. “Getting to see cases when it’s a complete turnaround.”

For the person who injured Arnold, Whittet has a message for them. “Pick on somebody your own size, come on,” said Whittet. “Don’t mess with animals, don’t mess with people or animals who can’t fight for themselves.”

The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office said the investigation is ongoing. Whoever is responsible could be facing a felony extreme animal cruelty charge. If you have any information on this case, you’re asked to contact them at 505-975-1500.