A pit bull mix was recovering from surgery Saturday night after being viciously slashed and stabbed by an angry neighbor in South Los Angeles, a rescue group said.
The dog named Spartacus needed hundreds of stitches after being wounded in his head, neck, ears, mouth and torso, said officials with Ghetto Rescue FFoundation, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit.
Police said a neighbor, who has threatened Spartacus in the past, hit the dog on the head with a shovel and stabbed him multiple times about 4 a.m. near 10th and Florence avenues.
By the time police arrived, the attacker had fled, the rescue said. Police said they believe they know who the attacker is and are searching for him.
No arrests were reported early Monday.
"This is very serious on many levels," said Los Angeles police Sgt. Tami Baumman. "I have 21 years with the police department and I've never seen a dog that cut up before by somebody."
"We once and a while have seen somebody get mad and they'll choke a dog or cut it, but this dog is cut up all over, this is horrible."
A motive for the attack was unclear.
“Spartacus did nothing wrong, except to be born as a breed hated by some. His family has loved him a long time!” the rescue said in part on its Facebook page.
Police rushed Spartacus to the Pet Care Center on Slauson Avenue, where he underwent a two-hour surgery.
"He is very, very lucky. Fortunately he has very thick skin, so I think his thick skin really stopped that blade from getting any deeper," said Dr. Laura Kosmo.
Spartacus is in a temporary home. He will have his stitches removed in two weeks.
The rescue group, which paid for Spartacus to receive medical attention, is taking donations to help pay for his care. Anyone wishing to donate can do so at ghettorescueffoundation.org.