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7-month-old puppy thrown from moving car in Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. -- Officers with Richmond Animal Care and Control are searching for a gold Saturn in connection to a weekend animal cruelty case on the city’s Southside.

RACC Director Christie Peters said an officer responded to a call from someone who witnessed a man throw a seven-month-old Brindle pit bull puppy from a moving car near the corner of Moody Avenue and Bland Street around 7 p.m. Sunday.

The driver of the gold Saturn did not stop, according to Peters.

"Once [the puppy] hit the pavement he turned around and chased after the car. [The witness] didn’t get a license plate, so it’s like a needle in a haystack,” Peters explained.

The dog was taken to Virginia Veterinary Center on West Cary Street where Dr. Andrew Mercurio performed surgery on the dog.

"He came down really hard on his right hind leg and fractured a piece of the shin bone." Dr. Mercurio said. "He had to come down on the leg with an excessive amount of force and it’s consistent with a fall from a moving vehicle."

The puppy, who the veterinary staff named Francis, is already walking on four legs shortly after the fall from the car.

“He's so sweet. He doesn’t have a mean bone in his body,” Mercurio said.

Donations made to the RACC Foundation made the expensive surgery to repair Francis’ injuries possible.

In a Facebook post on the RACC page, Peters wrote the dog would be available for adoption after the stray-hold is up on June 2.

“We are hopeful we can find someone who can love him,” Peters said. “We’ve had so many people reach out to us on our Facebook page to schedule appointments to meet with prospective adopters.”

The driver of the gold Saturn who allegedly committed the crime could be charged with animal cruelty if found. Francis is expected to make a full recovery.

“Animals are such sweet innocent creatures and the fact that somebody can do that is appalling,” Mercurio said.