Campbell Co., VA - We're following new developments in a Campbell County animal cruelty investigation that left a one year old dog severely injured, nearly dead, on Monday.
Gabriel, a one year old Shepard mix, was found with a collar so badly embedded in his neck, it nearly severed his trachea.
He came within inches of death on Monday. But he had a miracle last minute surgery that cost more than $1,000, all paid for by those that saw his story and wanted to help.
"Gabriel the angel" said Janine Lascell.
"He'll end up being somebody else's angel" said Lascell.
His name's angelic, but this dog's a survivor.
Lascell, Campbell County's Deputy Animal Control officer came upon him Monday, tied to a fence in Rustburg with a puppy collar deeply embedded in his neck.
"The buckle of his collar was up underneath here, this was all opened up" she said.
"As far as the ingrown collar part, this is the worst one. I've been with them going on 11 years" said Lascell.
She says the collar hadn't been adjusted in at least three months. It was nearly puncturing his air pipe.
Gabriel was rushed to the animal hospital. "Right away they shaved his leg, put in an IV and gave him pain medicine" she said.
Gabriel would undergo a grueling two hour surgery to close his neck. Now, staples and scars sit where his collar once was.
But Gabriel has no known owner. His $1,500 surgery was unpaid. So Lascell posted a plea on a county animal advocacy Facebook page.
"Within hours of posting it, the donations were just pouring in, by 3 o'clock or something the next day there was $300, by 5 o'clock, there's $500" she said.
And now, nearly $2,000 has been donated to help Gabriel.
With the excess, the group Friends of Campbell County Animal Control has started the Gabriel fund.
"That means, if you want to donate in his name, it will go for the next emergency, it will go for the next heart worm test, the next rabies shot" said Lascell.
"It's an animal in distress. People have hearts of gold out here" she said.
If you'd like information on how to donate, visit the website for the group, Friends of Campbell County Animal Control.
Animal Control officers are still searching for Gabriel's owner, who could be facing animal cruelty and neglect charges.
If you have information that could lead to an arrest, you're asked to call their tip line at (434)821-4416.