Sheriff’s office: Pit bull shot as an act of defense, axe injury still under investigation

Pit Bull that was abused passes

JACKSON, MO (KFVS) - A pit bull has died after fighting for his life after being found critically injured in Mississippi County, Missouri.

Authorities in Mississippi County say Bert was shot as an act of defense.

According to the Mississippi County Sheriff’s Office, Captain Morgan began an investigation on Tuesday, Jan. 8 and started interviewing several persons of interest.

Captain Morgan located the individual that shot Bert.

The woman explained that she was on her porch with her dog and Bert ran onto the porch and began to attack her dog.

She says Bert got onto her dog’s back and was pinned.

She then pulled out her firearm and fired one shot that struck Bert in the head. Bert released her dog and ran away.

Captain Morgan found blood at the same location where Bert was shot.

It has been determined that was not criminal but an act of self defense. The shooting happened a few weeks before the head and shoulder injuries from the axe.

The injuries to Bert’s head and shoulder is still investigation. The Humane Society Investigator Mike Little will be assisting in the investigation.

Rochelle Steffen, Mac’s Mission founder, has been caring for Bert while he healed.

She shared in a Facebook post, that on Thursday, Jan. 10, Bert was put down.

Steffen said Bert “was suffering horribly and not coming out of it so we decided the best option for him was to give him peace”.

Bert had surgery to close up the axe wound earlier this week.

Steffen said she was first notified about Bert the dog after he was found.

“I got a call from my friend, Leslie, who I work with rescuing animals in this region,” Steffen said. “She said, ‘Hey, I got a dog for you. He’s in a lot of trouble.’”

Steffen said the dog, which was named Bert, was found somewhere between Bertrand and Charleston in Mississippi County. Steffen stated the pit bull was walking around with critical injuries to multiple parts of its body.

“I’m pretty certain this dog is Superman in dog form,” Steffens stated. “They found out with x-rays in St. Louis that he had been shot within the last couple of months which destroyed a whole part of his jaw. He healed from that for the most part, poorly but he had healed from that. Then somebody took a dead aim on his face with an ax and then he got whacked in the shoulder.”

Steffen stated that the two veterinarians both suggested to euthanize the dog considering the injuries it had. She added that she was extremely surprised that this dog has lived through this punishment and is still walking around.

"You can't even fathom the damage that has been done, how deep and how it smells. His face is literally falling off," Steffen described. "None of us can understand how he is walking and eating. And nice! He is a sweet dog."

The pit bull was moving around and was eating enough to where Steffen felt he had a chance to survive. She wanted to make sure she did everything she could to save this dog’s life, regardless how many treatments and visits are needed.

“He’s going to have to have a whole bunch of surgeries,” Steffen stated. “His face is split so far that it’s entered the brain cavity. So he has to battle infections and battle the fact that there is no way to close that [wound]. So he has basically got to heal from the inside, out.”

Steffen stated she is thankful for the community and those that support their cause.

"The people that support us really, they jump off the cliff for us because they know that we're going to go all in and we just need the funding for that. They are really amazing for pooling that together and even donating a dollar just adds up to where we have his whole bill covered."

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