MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A 4-year-old pit bull named Cesar is recovering after being found near death earlier this week.
Cesar's owners found him Wednesday in the driveway of their Savage home, bleeding. His owner believes someone took the dog and beat it, but police say otherwise.
Investigators think a driver hit Cesar and took off.
Robert Cole, Cesar's owner, said Friday that his pit bull is feeling better, acting like his old self.
However, one of Cesar's hind legs still sports a cast from where Cole believes someone intentionally tried to hurt his pet.
Cole said his pit bull was playing in the back yard with two of the family's other pets when his fiancée noticed Cesar and a black lab, Shelby, were gone.
Twenty minutes later, Cesar was found limping and bleeding in the driveway.
"They showed up in the middle of the driveway and Amber saw them and said, 'Oh my God, they are bleeding,'" Cole said.
But only Cesar was hurt.
He had cuts, almost to the bone, on his hind legs and a message that said "Back off Bob," scribbled on his back.
Joan Tabak with Midwest Animal Rescue and Services (MARS) believes Cesar was targeted because he is a pit bull
"The gate was open, he was let out and he was the only one that was injured and written on," Tabak said.
Savage police say evidence doesn't support that story.
They believe Cesar and Shelby somehow got out of the fence and that a car hit Cesar.
But Cole says his pets have never tried to break out; he believes the dogs had help getting out.
"There was too much weird stuff going on than being hit by a car -- no broken bones, no fractures, no contusions that are that deep. Everything is with a sharp object," Cole said.
As investigations continue, Cole's focus is on Cesar's recovery. He's letting police figure out what happened.
Cole said the police version of events eases his mind a bit. However, it does not explain who wrote on his pet.
Savage police say the incident is still under investigation. A $1,000 reward is being offered for information that could help solve this case.
MARS said it will "continue to investigate this incident on the dog's behalf."
for more features.