A poor, abused dog is now in safer hands after a group of witnesses — including a Hollywood star — witnessed a shocking attack and stepped up to save the day.
According to NBC Los Angeles, a man was seen brutally dragging and kicking a small dog he had on a leash near Sunset Boulevard.
But the attack was witnessed by a number of bystanders who quickly jumped into action — including Hollywood actress Jena Malone.
Malone, a Golden Globe and SAG Award nominee, has acted in acclaimed films like Contact, Donnie Darko, Into the Wild and The Neon Demon. She is probably best known to general audiences for her role as Johanna Mason in the popular Hunger Games franchise.
Now Malone can add “animal avenger” to her resume. She played an important part in helping to save the dog from its abuser.
“I yelled at him to stop from my car but he wouldn’t,” Malone recalled on Twitter. “I got out of my car to try and get the dog but he started running.”
The actress says she saw a group that also witnessed the attack, and signaled for a man to chase the man down with her. Soon, she realized she was joined by a group of five men pursuing the suspect, which she says “felt like a miracle.”
Malone says she let the men confront the suspect, while she focused on ensuring the dog’s safety: “I pulled over to make sure that dog was going to be cared for,” she wrote.
A “heated fight” then ensued, which led to the police arriving and taking the suspect into custody.
According to NBC Los Angeles, the fight could pose some legal questions: a local attorney suggested the men could be prosecuted for “beating up the animal abuser,” but the LAPD has not filed charges.
And Malone suggested drastic action was necessary to protect the dog, and that the abuser posed a serious danger to the dog’s life.
“I’m sorry that it ended in a brawl but the dog was going to die,” Malone wrote on Twitter. “No question. I can’t imagine the level of torture it had suffered until this point.”
She wrote that the dog was out of the hospital, and had suffered a broken rib and breaks in its hind legs and a fracture in its right paw. “It was absolutely horrific seeing an animal treated this way,” she wrote.
It seems the dog was also stolen. In an update, Malone says the dog, whose name is Champion, had been reported missing for a week, but was reunited with his owner thanks to a microchip.
A GoFundMe page has now been set up to help Champion’s owner, Kelly, pay for the dog’s medical bills, as the price of his surgeries and recovery are expected to be “considerably high.” It has currently raised about $12,000.
Thank you to Jena Malone and all the other bystanders for stepping up to save this poor dog! It’s heartbreaking to think what abuse Champion has endured but we’re glad he’s back with his loving owner, and hope he is recovering okay.
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