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Pit bull puppy recovering after at-home ear cropping

A 3-month-old pit bull named Coco is recovering after having his ears lopped off during an in-home ear cropping, Sacramento officials say.

The scars from what happened to Coco on Oct. 22 are what really cut deep, said Gina Knepp of Sacramento Animal Services.

"Imagine me taking a pair of gardening shears to your ears and lopping them right off without anesthesia, proper follow-up, suturing, pain medication, antibiotics," Knepp told Fox40 Sacramento.

Only a licensed veterinarian is legally allowed to crop a dog's ears. The cost runs between $200 and $400. Other than for aesthetic reasons, a dog's ears are often chopped off for dog fighting, Knepp said.

"If they don't have ears, like Coco now, [who is] pretty earless, they don't bleed as much during the fights," she said.

The puppy, traumatized by what happened to him, is now at a foster home and is getting ready for adoption.

"He's actually coming out of his shell quite a bit, having only been out of the shelter for less than one day," said Dawn Capp of Chako Pit Bull Rescue.

The Sacramento County district attorney's office is prosecuting Coco's owner. If found guilty, the owner could face a maximum of one year behind bars.


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-- Mark Demsky, Fox40 Sacramento

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