-- Baron the Rottweiler was given a second chance at life thanks to a team of surgeons in Michigan.
On Jan. 17, the Michigan Human Society (MHS) received an anonymous phone call about a stray dog abandoned on a street corner in Detroit. Baron, estimated to be 8 years old, was found with lacerations on his legs and his nose, tail, and ears were chopped off. The likely cause? Dog fighting.
MHS offered a $2,500 reward for information about Baron's previous owner.
After news about Baron went viral, people from around the U.S. and the world donated money to MHS. The money was used to increase the amount of the reward to $40,000.
"We knew that sharing Barron's story on social media would probably be recognized outside of Detroit," Kathy Bilitzki, director of marketing and communications at MHS, told ABC News. "But I didn't think I'd be getting phone calls from Japan, Australia, Denmark, Germany."
MHS staffers knew they had to act fast to save Baron's life. They reached out to Dr. Bryden Stanley, head of surgery at Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, to reconstruct Baron's tail and nose.
Stanley, Dr. Maria Posiedlik and Dr. Robert Fisher, MHS' chief medical officer, performed the three hour surgery. According to Stanley, a surgery like Baron’s can cost anywhere between $3,000 and $3,500. Stanley's team decided to do the surgery free of charge.
Stanley told ABC News that Baron should not require any further surgery. Once he recovers, he will be ready for adoption. Bilitzki said MHS has already received 30 applications from all over the U.S.