A helpless puppy was tied up and stabbed in South Sacramento last year. Now, the man responsible is walking free less than three months after pleading guilty.
So is the puppy. But he has a long road of recovery.
He's an energetic, rambunctious pit bull, who has unfortunately been through too much in his young life.
"Rowdy's story really pulled on a lot of heartstrings," said Tracey Schaal, volunteer for the NorCal Bully Breed Rescue.
On Aug. 15, 2015, the then 8-month-old puppy was tied up to a tree, and nearly stabbed to death in South Sacramento. Investigators arrested 19-year-old Marquayous Hill for felony animal cruelty.
But Hill was not the only one taken into custody.
"Dealing with a confiscate case as Rowdy was, these animals serve as evidence," Schaal said.
After pleading guilty on October 22, Hill was sentenced to 300 days in jail.
But with time served credit and good behavior, Hill was released last Friday, after only 86 days.
"The sad part of this is that his attacker served less time than Rowdy spent in the shelter," Schaal said.
For months, the nonprofit, NorCal Bully Breed Rescue worked with doctors and the Bradshaw Animal shelter to expedite Rowdy's release.
This weekend, Rowdy walked out a free dog.
With the help of $3,600 in donations, Rowdy was relocated to Tug Dogs, a dog training facility in Elverta that specializes in rehabilitation of abused dogs.
"It's been less than 24 hours since his prison break! So he is still in the process of learning to be a happy, stable, well-mannered guy," said Erin Kramer, owner of Tug Dogs.
The brutal attack left Rowdy blind in his left eye. He still shows signs of aggression and extreme fear.
But his trainer said it can only get better from here.
"Rowdy is no longer a victim. Rowdy is a survivor. And now we can work on helping Rowdy to live the best life possible," Kramer said.
Rowdy is expected to be in doggy rehab for about two months. And hopefully, after that, he will find forever home.
Marquayous Hill remains on probation for 5 years.
For more information on Nor Cal Bully Breed Rescue, click here.
For more information on Tug Dogs, click here.