SHELBYVILLE — A dog named Justice has found his forever home a year after he was discovered severely abused in Shelby County.
It was on Nov. 2, 2018, when the Shelbyville/Shelby County Animal Shelter received a call from a Good Samaritan who found Justice wandering near the intersection of 900 North and 400 West in Shelby County.
Justice, a pit bull terrier, suffered from chemical burns on his face and along his back. He had cuts on his tongue, likely from licking his wounds, and he developed a serious infection from the injuries. He was not microchipped and there were no tags to identify his owner, however, the animal shelter received an anonymous tip days after he was found that his name was Roscoe and his former owner lived in Marion County.
The shelter decided his name should be Justice, and the Justice4Justice campaign began. Chris Browder of the Shelbyville/Shelby County Animal Shelter said there is currently a $15,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who harmed Justice.
In a Facebook post Saturday marking the anniversary, Browder wrote about Justice's recovery and his journey to finally finding happiness in a home where he is loved.
To begin his recovery, Browder and other shelter employees drove Justice to IndyVets in Indianapolis because there isn't a 24-hour emergency vet clinic in Shelby County.
"When we arrived with Justice, IndyVet told us that they could fix him, but it would take time and money," Browder said. "We didn't worry and put our faith in God. We said our goodbyes as they quickly administered pain meds to our fighter and took him off."
Browder said Justice needed a feeding tube so he could receive nutrients and his face was swollen, but they knew he was comfortable. However, he soon developed sepsis and then pneumonia.
"What more can he endure?" Browder said. "While at IndyVet, we weren't surprised when Justice tested positive for heartworm. If the monsters who owned him treated him like this, of course they aren't going to keep him current on heartworm preventative. Through tips, I also learned he lived a life chained up outside or in a cage in their garage. It amazes us how social this beauty is considering how he was treated."
Browder said the staff at IndyVet cared, treated and loved Justice as if he was one of their own, and that he is now living with a third foster family, which is in the process of adopting him.
"We will refer to them as foster failures! They love him, he is at home with them and we do not have to worry about his care or exploiting him. One day soon, the adoption will be finalized," Browder said.
Today, Browder said, Justice is gaining weight, his left eye is improving and there will be an announcement in the next couple weeks regarding the reward, along with more information.
"He meets with a trainer and enjoys donut holes, filet mignon cooked medium (on the grill, of course) and Nilla Wafers!" Browder said. "He goes on car rides and loves to be between his mom and dad! Life is good. God is good."
Browder said that there will be a day to celebrate Justice's recovery, perhaps in the spring of 2020.
"To everyone who has followed him, prayed for him, donated and cares as much as we do. Thank you. God bless you," Browder said. "It's been a year like no other, but look at him now. Justice, you got this."
Nov. 5, 2018 | Dog found badly burned in Shelby County: 'We do not know what was done to this poor soul'
Nov. 20, 2018 | Dog found burned, abandoned in Shelby County showing improvement
Dec. 7, 2018 | Burned dog named 'Justice' incites push for harsher animal cruelty penalties
Jan. 4, 2019 | Burned dog named Justice continues to improve; police still searching for his abuser
May 31, 2019 | Dog found severely burned, tortured and abused in Shelby County is now looking for his forever home
June 13, 2019 | Shelby County shelter needs emergency foster for Justice, dog found severely abused and burned