Dog found with nose ripped off

A pit bull found with his nose ripped off is at Noah's Ark Rescue facility in Okatie near Hilton Head where he will undergo several major surgeries.

The three-year-old pit bull has been named Otto by volunteers at the rescue facility.

Otto was found Tuesday after he wandered onto someone's porch in Florence. The homeowner called animal control workers with Florence County Environmental Services and they picked up the dog.

Authorities aren't releasing where the dog was found. We've filed a Freedom of Information Act request to learn the location.

Otto was immediately taken to a Florence veterinarian and released to Noah's Ark two hours later.

The dog will need four surgeries to clear up oral infections and more than 100 wounds from bite marks on his malnourished body before reconstructive surgery to his face.

"To see a dog who is missing part of his face and his whole mouth is full of abscesses from being caught by another dog and held down. Those infections are going to have to be cleared up. From what I understand, they're going to be at least four surgeries, four major surgeries, required to just alleviate some of the suffering from the injuries," said Jayne Boswell, President Florence Area Humane Society.

Florence Area Humane Society officials believe Otto was being used as a bait dog in a dog fighting operation.

"Probably this dog, had it not managed to wander onto someone's porch, it probably wouldn't be alive for many more days. I think the scars definitely indicate this dog is probably used as a bait dog, which is even more horrific because that means that this dog didn't want to fight, but yet it was used to sic other dogs on it so they could prove they were fighters," Boswell explained.

Humane Society officials say the dog's nose wound is probably a couple of months old. They say Noah's Ark is the place where Otto can get the help he needs. The rescue facility has helped other animals left with disfigured faces from abuse.

"Noah's Ark is just an unbelievable rescue group. It's led by one woman who is just relentless in her efforts to help animals that are extremely abused or mutilated and yes, they're going to reconstruct the dogs mouth so it can have as normal life as possible after it recovers."

Herbie Christmas with Florence County Environmental Services says he's working as hard as he can to find Otto's owner. He wants to know who allowed this to happen to the dog.

Humane Society officials say they hope the owner will be found and held responsible for the dog's injuries.

"We owe that dog something. It didn't choose to be born for one thing and it didn't choose to be in dog fighting."

Once Otto fully recovers from all of his surgeries, it's possible he will be available for adoption.

"I think we all have high hopes that Otto will, one day, maybe rule the roost in a home with a family and get the love that he deserves."