INDIO ( — A 3-year-old terrier mix who was beaten with a shovel and then dumped in a nearby backyard has died at an Indio veterinary hospital, animal services said Thursday.

Authorities received a 911 call about 7 p.m. Monday reporting a dog had been beaten and needed medical aid in the area of Kimdale Drive, just north of Interstate 10 in the city of Whitewater located about 3 miles east of Cabazon, according to Riverside
County Department of Animal Services spokesman John Welsh.

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Upon responding to the scene, Animal Services Officer Kyle Stephens found the dog was a stray and was being taken care of by several local residents, who took to calling the pup “Rusty”, Welsh said.

Stephens said he was “pretty shocked” to find the dog had been hit so hard that one of his eyes popped out of its head, leaving several residents of the neighborhood traumatized and crying, according to Welsh.

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“He looked horrible,” he said. “I have never seen a dog with this type of trauma, with the exception of those that have been hit by cars.”

Despite being transported to VCA Animal Medical Center in Indio where he received around-the-clock intensive care, Rusty died Wednesday night.

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Officials have asked for a necropsy to be performed and were expected to submit a report to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office seeking animal felony animal cruelty charges against the responsible individual, who was not identified.