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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The search is on for the person/persons who savagely beat a family’s pet Saint Bernard and left it for dead.

Everything started Monday when the family let the dog, named Big Ben, out for his morning constitutional. It was a short time later, when the family went out to feed Big Ben, that they discovered the dog was gone. The family searched the area near their home on McCart Avenue, but Ben had vanished.

Photo of Big Ben, a Saint Bernard dog stolen, beaten and left for dead in Fort Worth. (credit: Sherri Prewitt Green)

Photo of Big Ben, a Saint Bernard dog stolen, beaten and left for dead in Fort Worth. (credit: Sherri Prewitt Green)

The dog’s owner, James Moss, explained that the dog has an embedded microchip, so they called police and reported Big Ben missing right away. It wasn’t until later that evening when Big Ben was found beaten near railroad tracks in the area. The 7-year-old dog had been thrown over a fence.

“We get a phone call later that evening that our dog was found in the ditch beside a fence half dead,” Moss said.  “We think some punk kids wanted to beat a dog up and they just happened to pick our dog.”

Big Ben was severely injured, with his paw badly crushed and head injuries that left bruises and his eye swollen shut. The trauma is so significant the veterinarian treating Ben said the dog may well have to have his paw amputated and could lose sight in his eye.

The injuries are devastating, but Moss said even more so for Big Ben. He said the dog already has a weak back leg and if he loses his paw will be unable to walk.

As a breed Saint Bernard dogs are known to be calm and patient. “He’s the friendliest dog you’ll ever see in his life,” Moss said. “We have seven kids and our youngest will ride him around like a horse.”

(credit: James Pultz/CBS 11 News)

(credit: James Pultz/CBS 11 News)

Talking about Big Ben’s owners, family friend Sherri Green said, “They have their own business; they work together. Ben goes with them; he travels with them everyday to work. He’s an inside dog.”

Ben was initially treated at Metro West Emergency Veterinary Center but Tuesday morning was moved to a critical care center for dogs in Greenville. As it stands, medical costs to treat the dog have topped $1,600.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help defray the costs of Big Ben’s care. The pictures on the page show the severity of some of Big Ben’s injuries and are graphic.

Anyone with information about the attack on Big Ben is asked to call Fort Worth police at 817-392-4000.

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