Rescue organization continues to save abused animals

By Colleen Drew |

Rocko, a Neapolitan mastiff, has recently become a local celebrity in the St. Augustine area after being rescued.

The dog’s previous owners allegedly abused him by shattering some of his vertebrae, cutting off his ears with scissors and making him stand in his feces, which created a fungus on his paws.

Rocko is somewhere between six to eight years old. He was rescued by Wags and Whiskers, a local rescue organization and HelpFourPaws stepped in. HelpFourPaws is a local non-profit organization that transports animals by plane or automobile to get them out of harms way, according to its website.

HelpFourPaws is reaching out to the community to help get the word out for abused animals like Rocko.

“I’m impressed with the work that they have done for dogs,” said Angela Byrd, a stylist at Shambhala Hair Design in St. Augustine who will be teaming up with HelpFourPaws. “Everyone is so busy with their lives – it’s nice to see someone take time to help others, especially animals.”

“They don’t have their own voices, so we need to look out for them,” Byrd said.

HelpFourPaws made it a priority to help Rocko. He has a condition called cherry eyes, which is a large growth on the upper eyelids that causes dry eye and may eventually cause Rocko to go blind.

With the help of the community and donations, Rocko was able to have a successful surgery.

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