TAMPA, FL (WFLA) – She’s won hearts all over the world, and people have fallen in love with her, and, for good reason. Cabela is a survivor.
She endured horrific abuse when she was shot, tied to railroad tracks and left for dead. Doctors originally thought they would have to amputate Cabela’s leg, since it was full of bullet fragments. However, during a two-hour surgery, they were able to save the leg by reconstructing it with pins and rods.
Previous story: Tampa Police save dog found shot, tied to railroad tracks
WFLA-TV found out during our investigation that the pit bull mix was a victim of dog fighting at one point, which sadly is very common. In fact, Cabela was purchased for that very reason.
It’s becoming more and more difficult to catch the criminals linked to dog fighting, not because they’re getting smarter, but because street-level dog fighting is not organized.
It is usually done by teenagers. It draws a young crowd out to make a quick buck, and sadly, it happens all the time.
Tampa police have been working non-stop on Cabela’s case. Detectives have gone without sleep, investigating leads around the clock as the department wanted to find the abusers responsible.
Slideshow: Photos of Cabela.
Police arrested four people, including two teenagers, accused of trying to kill Cabela. WFLA-TV discovered in their investigation that Cabela carries the scars of dog fighting on her body.
“There’s other indications on her besides the bullet wounds,” Steven Pahl from Tampa Bay Veterinary Emergency Service said. “She had some dog bites, she had some raw wounds on her neck, from a rope, a belt, a chain.”
In their investigation, WFLA-TV also discovered that street-level dog fighting is frequent in many Bay area cities, usually for big bragging rights and little money. And, because it isn’t organized, criminals are not usually caught.
It’s a “macho” mentality, say experts.
“My dog is gonna beat your dog up, that’s basically what these street fights are and a lot of times, it’s less than 100 dollars, it’s a macho, street-cred sort of battle,” said Scott Trebatoski from Hillsborough County Pet Resources.
But, this sweet pup Cabela wasn’t meant for a life of fighting.
Tampa police told WFLA-TV that’s why the young men in this case wanted to get rid of Cabela. They admitted she wasn’t a “good fighter.”
But, she is good at loving people, warming hearts and creating hope.
“People are going to remember her, there’s special days to come yet,” Pahl said.
So, what do the parents of the accused teenagers abusers think about all this? They maintain their boys are innocent and have been “railroaded” in this case.
“My son would never do something like that, I wouldn’t allow it,” said one mother.