A dachshund found last week in a freezing ditch with his mouth and legs bound is now recovering and has been reunited with his owner.
Missouri’s Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office posted a startling image of the dog on Facebook on Valentine’s Day, saying the dachshund had been “dumped in a ditch” over the weekend.
“He was cold, starving and may have had a concussion,” the sheriff’s office wrote. A subsequent press release stated that officers believed the dog, whom officers were calling Jimmy, had been thrown from a car window and remained in the ditch in “extreme cold” for about 12 hours. Eventually, he was found by a deputy who happened to spot him while on patrol.
Later that day, the sheriff’s office posted a video of Jimmy at Ivan Animal Hospital in House Springs, where he appeared to be doing much better.
They also announced the arrest of a suspect in the case, 39-year-old Paul Garcia. Garcia was charged with animal abuse as well as armed criminal action. The St. Louis-Post Dispatch reported that fingerprints on the electrical tape wrapped around the dog led law enforcement to Garcia.
On Friday, the sheriff’s office announced that Jimmy’s owner, Katie Kofron, had been located and that he would be going home with her. Kofron revealed that Jimmy’s name was actually Flick, though she said that she is still referring to him as “Jimmy” on social media since that’s how he’s become widely known.
Kofron wrote on Facebook that Flick had vanished on Feb 8. after she let him outside and he didn’t return.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office posted a video on Friday showing a portion of the pair’s reunion.
However, after the video sparked critical comments from people who said the dog seemed uncomfortable or unhappy to see her, both the sheriff’s office and Ivan Animal Hospital released statements in defense of Kofron.
Both noted that the video did not capture the first moments that Kofron and Flick saw each other.
“Flick went to his owner immediately and then made his way around the room to greet the dozen or so other people who were there,” the sheriff’s office wrote.
The post also said, “There were lots of cameras pointing and people looking at the pair. That kind of attention is enough to make any person, or animal, a little nervous and uncomfortable.”
Ivan Animal Hospital noted that the dog is “very laid back,” “older” and “not a spry little pup.”
“When [the owner] sat down on the ground he walked right up to her and had all the tail wags,” the animal hospital’s post read. Kofron also provided medical records proving that Flick was her dog.
Since then, Kofron has shared photos of Flick recovering back at home.
“He’s loving his couch and all the love he’s getting,” she wrote.