SPOKANE, Wash. -

A three-year-old pitbull is recovering a suspect broken into a Hillyard home and stabbed the dog.

The incident happened Wednesday night around 6 p.m. at Joe Crocker's home, located near the intersection of Regal and Diamond.

Chance the pitbull is having a hard time breathing and has been throwing up. He has stitches in his throat and an IV in his leg.

"He was stabbed in his jugular vein, and it was cut and severed," Crocker said.

Thursday Crocker was sitting in his living room taking care of Chance.

"He's my life man, we got him when he was a little bitty puppy, six weeks old," he explained.

Police say that Wednesday night Rodger Mendenhall, 42, broke into Crocker's home and stabbed Chance in the neck. When Crocker arrived home he fought back, stabbing Mendenhall in the leg.

"I just started hitting him and I threw him across the kitchen into the corner where he couldn't get away," Crocker said.

The fight then spilled out into the street, where police say neighbors helped Crocker pin down Mendenhall until officers arrived. Crocker said he doesn't regret his actions.

"I don't think life would be the same without him," he said of his dog Chance.

Chance is lucky to be alive but isn't out of the woods yet.

"He hasn't eaten or drank anything since it happened so I'm worried about dehydration," Crocker said.

Chance was taken to an emergency pet clinic last night but still needs more help...

"He needs to go to the vet and I don't have the money for it and he needs antibiotics," Crocker said, adding he hopes the community can come to Chance's rescue and help this pup get back to normal.

"Pitbulls have a bad name, but we brought this guy up with some love and care," he said.

Mendenhall was arrested on animal cruelty, burglary and assault charges. Spokane police say this is the second arrest officers have made this week on animal cruelty charges.