Officials say pit bull mix abused as part of gang initiation

A young pit bull mix found Monday tied with an electrical cord to a fence in California was beaten so badly she suffered seizures, and another dog was found dead nearby.

Though she had been close to death herself, the surviving pup — now named Avery — was recovering surprisingly well by Wednesday night, KTLA 5 News reported.

Her case was reported to the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation, which responded to recover her from the Watts alleyway where she was left.

“She had clearly been beaten and spray painted and had a lot of injuries,” said Ellie Roberto, director of the Sherman Oaks-based organization. “The other dog, unfortunately, was not found alive.”

The nonprofit rushed Avery to McGrath Veterinary Center in Sherman Oaks, where she had several seizures.

“Her main problem was head trauma from the beating, lack of oxygen to brain, which was from the strangulation,” said Brian McGrath, the veterinarian who treated her.

McGrath was able to reduce her brain swelling, stop the seizures and start treating her other injuries.

“When she came, she had an electrical cord around neck that they were using to basically try and hang her,” he said. “So she has lacerations on neck and some damage to her esophagus and throat.”

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Avery is also suffering from a skin condition called mange and is severely underweight from being malnourished. In addition to the spray paint, her eyes have chemical burns from an unknown substance, and she has a hole in one of her paws.

Marc Ching, founder of Animal Hope and Wellness, believes she was likely assaulted as part of a gang initiation.

The animal cruelty has been reported to Los Angeles police.

McGrath said the case is unnerving.

“To know a person could do that to an animal is obviously disheartening to the entire human race,” he said.

Although she’s been through unimaginable pain and abuse, those treating her say Avery is already learning to trust again.

Avery will go to a foster to recover once she leaves the hospital, and will be put up for adoption once her hair grows back and her pain has lessened.

To donate to Avery’s ongoing medical care, visit the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation’s website.

Anyone with information on the abuse can contact LAPD’s Animal Cruelty Task Force at 213-486-0450 or