One dog in Helena was left traumatized after alleged vandals spray-painted the pup from nose to tail.
Our Bliss Zechman explains how the lab and his family are turning this horrible situation into a positive one for other pups.
On this scorching hot Saturday, Scout is doing what any other dog would do. He's seeking shelter in the shade and looking for a peanut butter treat. However, a few days ago he wasn't living the life with belly rubs or scratches. He was going through something unimaginable.
"[Scout was] covered head to toe. The only part of him that wasn't covered was his face," said Emily Hankins, Scout’s owner.
She says Scout accidentally got out of the fence on the Fourth. Before his family could find him, someone held the poor pup down and spray-painted him red, white and blue.
"You know it just breaks my heart. I do not understand. I don't understand why."
His collar and tags were gone along, with a piece of himself.
"He was really noticeably upset. His head was hanging low. Ears dropping."
Scout's best friends Turner and Nia were at a loss to see their dog in such shape, feeling almost as low as the pup.
“It scared me a lot because a red, white and blue dog, that just kind of doesn't look natural and also I was angry. I don't like how people would paint a lost dog,” said Turner Hankins.
His sister, Nia, added, “It's really scary to me, too, and who would paint a lost dog?"
The Hankins bathed him twice, but the paint wouldn't budge. So, they took him to the professionals for the full treatment. After his coat was back to normal, Scout started to perk up.
"He was himself again. Absolutely. He was happier and had lots more energy," said Hankins.
To off set some of the expenses, the Hankins started a Go Fund Me page. They were looking to raise $100, but within a days, received almost $500. The Petco groomers bathed scout free of charge and even gave him a new collar and tags. So, the Hankins are going to use that money to help the Humane Society.
"I think as awful as an incident as it was, the best came out of it that could."
Law enforcement officials are on the lookout for the people who abused Scout. The Hankins said they hope they catch the culprits so this doesn't happen to any other animals. While the authorities seek justice for Scout, the Hankins are simply going to work on giving their dog the love he deserves.