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Tears In The Operating Room Upon Learning Man Who Shot 'Beefcakes' Was Arrested

LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4) - Beefcakes is doing surprisingly well despite the fact that he just had surgery to repair a broken jaw. The dog was shot in the head and left to die on the side of the road earlier in the month, and now his former owner is facing felony charges for the crime.

Beefcakes is basking in the attention after his operation at Aspen Meadow Veterinary Specialists in Longmont.

"We're not out of the woods yet, but in the short term, I think everyone is pleased," said his surgeon.

Boulder County Sheriff's Office arrested 38-year-old Russell Middleton on Monday night for three felony charges after Beefcakes was found shot in the head and with a broken jaw.

"I was actually in the operating room today when we got word that he had actually been arrested and that he was in custody, and I think tears came to all of our eyes," said Rachael Landreth.

On July 7, the badly wounded pit bull was seen wandering near St. Vrain Road and Highway 36. Rachael was at the clinic when Beefcakes was brought in.

"He was just the sweetest guy. That tail never stopped wagging. He was trying to give kisses, and he was actually trying to crawl up in everyone's laps," she said.

beefcakes surgery
(credit: CBS)

Middleton was Beefcake's foster owner. Boulder Sheriff's Deputies say the long time criminal told them he shot the dog after Beefcakes attacked his girlfriend's chihuahua. His former owner saw the pictures and turned Middleton in.

"Justice. It's really great to actually see someone get brought to justice for such an atrocity towards an animal," Rachael said.

Beefcakes is recovering from surgery to repair his jaw, and more procedures may be required.

While the 3-year-old dog waits for a new home, Rachael says the loving animal has earned a better life.

"They do not deserve this kind of treatment. They're living, breathing creatures just like anything else," she said.

Beefcakes still has a long road to  recovery, but has been adopted by a foster family.

His former owner is due back in court August 27.

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