A pet owner was horrified after her dog found balls of meat with fish hooks inside at a Volusia County, Florida park. Rita Michelini's dog, "Buddy," ate some of the meat, so the owner rushed her dog to an emergency vet.
"I called for him to drop it. He dropped it immediately, and I went to check what it was. I was concerned. If 'Buddy' had ingested any of that, he would have gotten hooked somewhere inside of him," Michelini told Fox 35 Orlando. Luckily, an X-ray revealed that the dog didn’t ingest any hooks, according to the Daytona-Beach News Journal.
The outcome could have been worse.
"A small hook like that could get caught anywhere along the digestive tract -- the esophagus, above the heart, in the chest -- which would require specialized surgery," ‘Buddy’’s vet Dr. Avis said.
Police were called to Bicentennial Park in Ormond-by-the-Sea on Tuesday afternoon after five additional meatballs were discovered at different dog-friendly sections in the park.
"The meat was still cold and sweating like it had been frozen and was thawing in the sun for awhile," the Volusia County Sheriff's Office wrote on Facebook. "Several were very mushy. The meat appeared [to] have the consistency and smell of liverwurst."
A responding deputy cut open the meatballs to find additional fish hooks inside.
Sheriff Mike Chitwood expressed his thoughts on the disturbing find on Wednesday, ″(It’s) fair to say that the miserable excuse for a human being who did this has a cold lump of meat for a heart!!”
Dog parks in the area were closed while employees searched for more hazardous balls of meat. There are no cameras installed at the park at this time.
It wasn’t the first time dogs appeared to have been targeted at this very same park. In 2015, meat stuffed with pills were found, according to NBC Miami.
[Photo: Volusia County Sheriff's Office]