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'Sweetest Dog' Gets 1,000 Stitches After Vicious Knife Attack [Updated]

spartacus-dog.jpg
Spartacus was brutally attacked over the weekend (Photo via KTLA)
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A 2-year-old pit bull mix miraculously survived a vicious slashing and stabbing by the hands of an attacker in South L.A. over the weekend. The attack was so brutal that the dog had to get 1,000 stitches all over his body.The suspect, who LAPD officers believe is a neighbor of the dog's owner, slashed the dog named Spartacus with a knife and hit him with a shovel shovel several times around 4 a.m. on Saturday near 10th and Florence avenues, according to NBC Los Angeles. Authorities said that the neighbor had threatened Spartacus prior to this disturbing attack. However, when the police arrived at the scene, the attacker fled, and authorities are still searching for him.

Nonprofit group, the Ghetto Rescue Foundation, helped Spartacus' owners take the injured dog to the Pet Care Center, where he underwent a two-hour surgery, CBS Los Angeles reported.

“It almost looks like they tried to cut his head off, it’s ear-to-ear,” said Pet Care Center's office manager Alex Kyrklund. “He seriously almost looks like an autopsy victim.”

Kyrklund said Spartacus was the "sweetest dog in the world" and despite all of his injuries, he just wagged his tail once and did nothing else when they saw him.

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"This is very serious on many levels," LAPD Sgt. Tami Baumman told NBC Los Angeles. "I have 21 years with the police department and I've never seen a dog that cut up before by somebody."

Spartacus is recovering from the surgery now.

UPDATE 10/14, 10:10 a.m.: After authorities spoke to several witnesses, they now believe that the attack on the pit bull was out of self defense, not animal cruelty, according to City News Service.

"We understand that animals who are pictured with severe wounds can be very compelling and it is easy to make assumptions about their injuries," said Lt. Andy Neiman, who heads the LAPD Animal Cruelty Task Force. "However, in this particular case, our animal cruelty experts believe that the investigation is revealing this is a case of self-defense by a person faced with a dog who was at-large and in attack mode."