As Elder held Pacino, the vet and the animal control officers began discussing Pacino’s situation. Based on his condition and where he had been found, they assumed that he had been used as a bait dog for dogfighting. His wounds were so severe and would be extremely expensive to treat, so the vet and the animal control officer decided together that the best course of action would be to put Pacino down — but as she held and comforted him, Elder knew there was no way she was going to let that happen.
“At one point, even though he was in so much pain, he looked up at me and licked my face,” Elder said. “It was at that moment I knew that this dog was not ‘too aggressive’ and that I had to do something to save his life. I decided that I was going to take full financial responsibility for him, foster him to bring him back to health, and figure out adoption stuff later. I just needed to do something, and quick.”