"Unbelievable" Recovery for Dog Strapped With Fireworks

Indy the pit bull was found with serious burns July 4 in a San Fernando Valley alley

By Jonathan Lloyd and Kathy Vara
|  Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013  |  Updated 9:52 AM PDT
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Indy, the sweet pit bull who was seriously injured by a firework on the Fourth of July, is doing remarkably well. Indy is almost completely healed from the third degree burns, and now is in training working on his obedience. Kathy Vara reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Nov. 19, 2013.

Kathy Vara

Indy, the sweet pit bull who was seriously injured by a firework on the Fourth of July, is doing remarkably well. Indy is almost completely healed from the third degree burns, and now is in training working on his obedience. Kathy Vara reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Nov. 19, 2013.

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A dog who suffered serious burns after he was strapped with fireworks and set ablaze on the Fourth of July is healing after surgery and preparing to go home with one of the staff members who cared for him during five months of recovery.

Three-year-old pit bull Indy was left to die in an alley on the July 4 weekend in the San Fernando Valley community of Winnetka. The dog was likely strapped with fireworks, then set on fire and abandoned, according to veterinarians.

Staff members at Westlake Village Animal Hospital told NBC4 they were not sure Indy would survive his injuries -- some of the burns exposed bone. But after several surgeries and skin grafts with assistance from Dr. Richard Grossman, of the famed Grossman Burn Center, Indy is almost ready to go home.

"All of his wounds are totally healed," said Dr. Daniel Slaton, of Westlake Villlage Animal Hospital.

Indy is working with an animal behavior specialist, learning commands and adapting to being around humans.

Image: Pickup Spotted in Dog Abuse Case

"It's unbelievable to me, after what he went through, that he still loves humans as much as he does," said Jennifer Hammervold-Chung, of Westlake Village Animal Hospital.

No arrests have been made in the case. A surveillance camera captured an image of a man yanking the dog from the bed of a white pickup. A witness confronted the man in the alley between Kittridge and Hamlin streets, but the driver left the location.

The truck is described as a white Toyota pickup with dark stripes on the side, large off-road tires, a sunroof and small extra-cab window. A witness saw a toolbox in the truck bed.

Indy's stay at Westlake Animal Hospital included a visit from comedian Ellen DeGeneres. The Start Rescue organization has established a donations page to help Indy heal.

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