Stray dog recovering after having head split open

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BRADENTON, Fla. - Manatee County Animal Services is asking for help finding the person responsible for striking a dog in the head with either an axe or machete.

Officers picked up the dog in Bradenton after receiving calls from neighbors who spotted it walking the streets with a bloody head that was split open. Officials with Animal Services say this is one of the worst cases of abuse they've ever seen. And despite its injuries, they say the dog they have named ‘Axel’ was and is in good spirits.

An officer found the 2-year-old pit bull mix walking along 60th Avenue West in Bradenton.

Dr. Luke Berglund says he believes the incident happened two days ago. And even though Axel had been wandering the streets after the injury, he came into Animal Services in good spirits -- tail wagging, and happy.

Dr. Berglund removed bone fragments from Axel's face, stitched him up, and put in a drain.

Now, officials with Animal Services need your help in finding who's responsible. “This is probably one of the worst cases that I've seen. We've had some other minor cases, but people have to understand if they're having issues with animals, call us and get us and get it taken care of. Don't try to take things into your own hands. There's no reason for it, the animal didn't ask to be treated like that,” says Chief Kris Weiskopf with Manatee County Animal Services.

Manatee County operates as a no-kill shelter, and No Kill Manatee County is offering a $500 reward for any information leading to an arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for doing this to Axel.

If you have any information, you're asked to call Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS.

Animal Services is also in need of donations for its no-kill medical fund, which is where the money for Axel's treatment came from. If you would like more information or would like to make a donation, log onto the Animal Services website.