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Family learns rescued pit bull not theirs (w/video)

By Jessica Priest
Jan. 27, 2014 at 8:01 p.m.
Updated Jan. 26, 2014 at 7:27 p.m.

Amanda Marbach, 30, and her daughter, Grace Marbach, 10 months, of Tuleta, blows kisses to Monty, the red-nosed pit bull who was found in a ditch 5 miles northwest of Goliad. Marbach's pit bull, Trapper, who closely resembles Monty, disappeared a month ago, and the family was hopeful that the rescued pit bull was their dog. "The only difference is their feet," Marbach said after she discovered that the pit bull wasn't their dog.

BEEVILLE - Chevelle Marbach ran her hand down a skinny red-nosed pit bull's shoulders.

The resemblance to her missing pit bull, Trapper, was uncanny.

Then, she started crying.

"I feel a bump right here," Chevelle said as the dog that now goes by the name Monty looked up at her with sad, soulful eyes.

"I know he's got lots of bumps and boo boos, honey," said her mom, Amanda Marbach, while sitting on the tiled floor beside her at the South Texas Veterinary Clinic in Beeville.

They learned after a minute or two that Monty was not Trapper, and while that was sad, Monty's condition was sad, too, they said.

He kissed them, and they kissed him back.

"He had a family. He had a family that loved him," Marbach said.

"I'm sorry. I really am," said Dawn Blackmon, co-founder of Goliad Pet Adoption. "I know you had your hopes up."

Amanda, 30, Chevelle, 7, and Grace, 10 months, couldn't believe their luck when they came across Blackmon's Facebook post about Monty over the weekend. The post had been shared about 5,000 times as of Monday night.

"This is (Trapper's) twin. I felt so confident that it was him," Marbach said.

Blackmon found Monty Saturday in a ditch near the corner of Beck and Rifle roads in Goliad.

Monty could move but was curled up into a ball. The injuries to his head, eye and neck along with a sticky substance on his muzzle led Blackmon to believe he'd been used as bait.

"We really don't find a whole lot of bait dogs. ... Most of them don't survive," Blackmon said. "That's how they train. They tape the dog's mouth shut so they can't fight back and injure the big fighting dogs."

Blackmon has been rescuing animals for 12 years. Each month, they name the dogs they find using a different letter of the alphabet. In January 2013, they were on the letter A.

Capt. Tom Copeland, of the Goliad County Sheriff's Office, said they would investigate the reported animal cruelty if they had something to go on.

The area where Monty was dumped is rural, so there aren't any businesses with surveillance cameras that would have recorded a suspect. The office also isn't aware of dog fighting in the area, he said.

"(The dog) could have come from Charco, Berclair or Kenedy," Copeland said. "If someone is using a dog for fighting, they aren't going to do that in their front yard."

After looking at pictures of Monty online, Copeland thought the dog may have come across one of the 200- to 300-pound hogs known to inhabit the area.

"They will tear you up if you're not careful. Unfortunately, a lot of people who use dogs for hog hunting consider it a sport. Their dogs get injured a lot," he said.

Dr. Donald Barnett sutured a cut on Monty's head and drained and flushed one of his feet, which was swollen and had an abscess.

Barnett, a veterinarian, said Monty still needs to be neutered and treated with antibiotics for the ulcer on his right eye. He has several weeks of recovery ahead of him.

The dog's plight has drawn international attention.

Support is pouring in from Georgia, Arkansas, New York and even Germany.

"It's like my email is on steroids," Blackmon said.

Eagle's Den Rescue, which specializes in rehabilitating what are considered bully breeds, has offered to take Monty in.

Although the nonprofit is based in North Carolina, it has representatives living in San Antonio and Lampasas, Blackmon said.

Marbach hopes that when Monty is cleared to be around other dogs, he'll come to live on their 3-acre plot of land in Tuleta in Bee County.

It's the same land where Trapper used to romp around.

Trapper had a full white socked-paw, whereas Monty has two white toes.

Although their yard has a barbed wire fence, Trapper disappeared Dec. 22, she said.

"You don't want to believe it's not your dog. You want it to be your fur ball," Marbach said. "I would take him (Monty) home in a heartbeat."



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