PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Eight-week-old puppy Gnocchi stands on a sterile veterinarian table, with his ears sewn back together after surgery.
His tail wags back and forth. He’s different than how he was found.
Last week, Gnocchi’s ears were infected and sewn back together with fishing line. Someone not as friendly to dogs as those surrounding him Tuesday had sliced his ears off with a jagged knife.
Staff at Hillman Veterinarian Clinic believe whoever did this to the pit bull/Australian Sheppard mix realized they had done a poor job cutting one ear but continued — slicing the dog’s other ear off with the same jagged cut.
But now, thanks to the help of Paula Whiteamire, founder of Amazing Grace Bully Rescue, Gnocchi’s foster and veterinary tech Sasha Corbett and his new owner, Pensacola resident Meghan Brooks, Gnocchi will have a forever home.
“I told him in the first video I took of him that his life had changed forever,” Whiteamire said. “We pride ourselves in not putting a dog back into the situation that it came out of.”
Brooks said Tuesday afternoon at the vet clinic she has a passion for rescuing older dogs — even if it means just giving them a good last few years on Earth. Brooks said when she saw Gnocci, who was originally named Van Gogh for his missing ears, she knew she wanted to bring the puppy home.
“I just sent a quick text or email and said, ‘You know what? We’ll take him,’” she said.
Corbett told News 5 pet owners who cut their pet’s ears off often do it for the aesthetic or a look. It can also be associated with dogfighting, with owners cutting their dogs’ ears off to reduce its risk of injury.
Corbett said if pet owners do decide to do this, it needs to be done at a clinic and not at home.
“There’s a huge risk when you don’t go to the vet to have this done,” Corbett said. “Not only pain but infection, and it can lead to death sometimes.”
Whiteamire said she encourages pet owners to leave their pet’s ears alone.
Gnocchi will go home with Brooks in the coming days.