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Rocky, a 10-month-old puppy, enjoys crunchy peanut butter Tuesday, June 12, 2018, at the Wisconsin Humane Society before getting an X-ray to determine the extent of injuries he received due to abuse.

MILWAUKEE — Similar to the fictional boxer Rocky Balboa, Rocky the puppy has an uncanny fighting spirit resembling “The Italian Stallion.”

The 10-month-old puppy was taken in by the Wisconsin Humane Society last Thursday, according to Angela Speed, vice president of communications for the group.

“Rocky was brought to our Milwaukee campus today so that he can go undergo an X-ray,” Speed said. “We do see some visible scars on him and gashes near his face, but the body could be much worse for what he endured.”

During a news conference Tuesday at WHS headquarters in Milwaukee, Speed, who has worked with the agency for 11 years, said this was a rare case of blatant animal abuse.

“We oftentimes see cases of neglect, where the pet is simply not being taken care,” she said. “Violent acts of animal abuse are fortunately rare in the community, but when it does happen, it shocks all of us.”

Depending on the severity of the pup’s injuries, he could be with the Wisconsin Humane Society for months. “We are committed to treating Rocky’s injuries with the goal that he can be adopted out into a loving home,” Speed said. “It could be days, weeks or months; it all depends on the X-ray results.”

Medical bills to be covered

All of Rocky’s treatments will be funded through donations, according to Speed.

“The Wisconsin Humane Society doesn’t receive any general government funding,” she said. “If people are interested in donating to help Rocky, they can do that on our website or by just giving us a call.”

The average cost of care for a healthy animal at the Wisconsin Humane Society is about $300, according to Speed. In cases of animals like Rocky, it could run into thousands of dollars worth of expenses.

Speed encourages those who know an animal is being abused to call their local authorities. “A phone call can change the life of a neglected animal in an instant,” she said. “Take Rocky as a great example; we are going to find him a loving home now.”

Terrence L. Howard, 43, of Racine, the alleged abuser of Rocky, is set to appear for a preliminary hearing at 9 a.m. on Thursday, June 14. He is facing a felony charge of mistreatment of animals and remained in custody as of Tuesday night in the Racine County Jail.



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