JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It's a happy ending to a horrific story - a local dog's recovery after she was attacked and nearly killed, reportedly by her owner. Now people around the world are fighting for justice for Amber.
Deputy Sorrels with the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office played with his new pal Amber at the dog park Saturday. It's something he never thought he'd be able to do.
"I didn't think she was going to make it," Sorrels said.
He and another deputy responded to a report of animal abuse at 8:00 p.m. January 14. They say Randal Hart slit his dog Amber's throat, he claims because she attacked his kitten. Deputies say the kitten wasn't injured.
After an exhaustive search, Amber appeared around noon the next day.
"She found us," Sorrels said. "Amber walked out of some tall grass nearby in obvious distress, horrific wounds across her chest and throat."
She even jumped into the cage of the animal control truck.
"When's the last time you heard of a dog jumping into the dog catcher's truck? It was like she knew we were there to help her."
Amber underwent extensive surgery, recovering at Atlantic Veterinary hospital for two weeks.
"She's a miracle," Sorrels said.
She's also somewhat of a celebrity. Calls, emails, toys, and donations came in from California all the way to Germany.
"The outpouring of support, through the news, from around the world has just been overwhelming," Sorrels said.
The latest effort is an online petition for the maximum sentence for Amber's alleged attacker.
"We want to send a clear message that we are watching this case and we will not accept him getting off with just a slap on the wrist," said Katie Kelley, owner of Dogwood Park. "We would like a stipulation that he cannot own any animals, ever."
Amber still has some rehab left, but she's fitting in nicely with Sorrells and his family's other two rescue dogs.
"We just have to get a bigger food container, that's all it is," Sorrels said. "Thank you to everybody around the world who cares about Amber. She will be a very well taken care of dog."
Meanwhile, 28-year-old Randal Hart remains in jail on $5,000 bond.
First Coast News