Trooper, a yellow lab, has earned his name. Animal rescuers said they believe he was shot, beaten with a hammer and left for dead in brush near Farmington in St. Francois County, Missouri.
"They said he was literally suctioned to the ground he had been here so long, it was almost like lifting a carcass up," said animal rescue volunteer Katrina Campbell.
Campbell said people driving by noticed the dog lift his head up. They brought him back food and water and realized he couldn't move. She then reached out on social media for help.
They believe Trooper laid there for weeks in his own urine and feces which burned his skin.
"I was like just give me a sign you're not giving up yet," Campbell remembers asking Trooper. "He lifted his head and he licked me on my cheek and I said I'm going to fight for you," she added.
Mandy Ryan with Missouri K9 Friends, a statewide rescue group based in Chesterfield, started asking around the Farmington area about what happened.
Ryan said she got a tip and called a man who confessed to her.
"He didn't feel bad about hitting the dog in the head with a hammer, he just confessed it like it was nothing," Ryan said.
They have passed all of the details on to local deputies to investigate.
News 4 reached out to the St. Francois County Prosecutor's Office who said they expect to get a report from deputies by end of week or early next week.
The Prosecutor's Office will decide whether or not to file charges.
Instances like Trooper's are why Campbell wanted to spread awareness that this not how to treat an animal.
"People need to know in this community that this is not o.k., you can't dispose of a dog like they're trash," added Campbell.
Trooper is paralyzed, but he is making progress at an animal hospital. Ryan said he is eating on his own and his catheter has been removed.
A fundraiser is set for Trooper at Urban Chestnut Brewing Company (UCBC) at 3229 Washington Avenue on March 9, 2018, at 5 p.m.
UCBC is donating a percentage of the proceeds to Missouri K9 Friends.
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