ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - The beloved pit bull Trooper, who survived a near death experience after being dragged behind a pickup truck on Interstate 55 nearly a year ago, is now up for adoption, the Humane Society of Missouri said Wednesday.
Trooper, who was just five-months-old at the time of his terrible ordeal, visited NewsChannel 5 to make the announcement on First @ 4, joined by HSMO representatives.
Trooper suffered grave injuries, including exposed tissue and bones. One of his legs was so badly hurt that doctors initially thought it would have to be amputated. He's endured seven surgeries and numerous specialized laser treatments to aid the healing process.
He's served as an inspiration and his story has resonated worldwide, garnering more than 17,000 Facebook fans on his 'Team Trooper' page and hundreds of thousands of YouTube views. A children's book, called "Trooper's Triumphs," was written about his ordeal and recovery.
Trooper has been through the foster care process, receiving many hours of training and social activity in his recovery to get acclimated to other people.
Applications to adopt Trooper are being accepted now through midnight, Sunday, November 17 and can be accessed online through HSMO's website. All candidates will be reviewed by the Humane Society of Missouri. Applicants who move on in the process will be contacted by the adoption center in the first week of December to schedule a home visit.
His forever family needs to be kind and loving, and able to manage a strong, intelligent dog. Because he needs a great deal of attention, Trooper is best suited for a home without other animals and older children. Trooper also will need ongoing medical care. His new family should live approximately 30 miles from the Humane Society of Missouri's facility on Macklind so that he can continue to be treated by HSMO vets.
The final selection of Trooper's forever home will be at the discretion of the Humane Society of Missouri. The adoption fee is $210 – the usual fee for all rescue cases.
Meanwhile, Benetta Johnson was convicted in April 2013 of misdemeanor animal abuse for tying Trooper to the back of her ex-husband's truck. Johnson was sentenced to two years probation, which includes stipulations of 150 hours of community service, attending animal care classes, payment of court fees and a required $250 donation to the Humane Societ of Missouri. Johnson also cannot own a pet.
If she violates any of these terms of probation, Benetta Johnson must serve one year in jail.