WARNING – DISTRESSING CONTENT: Shocking images show a poor dog found alive with a five-centimetre nail lodged into her skull after a 12-year-old boy reportedly hit the pooch with a piece of wood.
The canine is now fighting for her life, with vets deciding to leave the nail where it was for now as it was not possible to remove it until the animal's condition improved.
Volunteers from the Association for Animal Protection of Novi Sad (SPANS) found the female dog named Kaja in the city of Novi Sad in the province of Vojvodina in northern Serbia.
The volunteers went to the scene after receiving information about the dog from an unnamed female resident. The animal was found and taken to a vet.
Images show the head of a nail in the dog’s skull and an X-ray shows how the five-centimetre nail went through the poor animal’s cranium and into her brain.
The vets discovered the 10-year-old dog had been microchipped and contacted her female owner.
The owner said the dog had gone out the day before the incident, but they had expected her to return eventually. They said it was not unusual for the pooch to leave the house alone.
“We talked with the vets, Kaja is receiving medicine and infusion, her condition is slightly better but it is still early for any prognosis,” volunteers said.
“The owners were with her and she reacted to them, she opened her eyes briefly, she is now sleeping on her owner’s T-shirt.”
When asked by news agency Newsflash if the vets had removed the nail, the organisation said: "No, she is still not stable enough for surgery. They are giving her a combination of medicines these few days and monitoring her condition.
"She will only then have surgery if her condition improves, but so far there are no major changes.”
In a video, the dog can be seen being comforted on its way to the vet and then being looked after as they tried to help her recover.
The case was reported to the police and they were said to have found the suspect, an unnamed 12-year-old boy.
A conversation was held with him and his grandmother, who is his guardian, and he was released as he is not yet over the age of criminal responsibility and is still a minor.
Reports state the boy is suspected of inflicting the damage by hitting the dog with a piece of old wood containing the nail.
The volunteers said Kaja was the fifth dog to become the victim of abuse in Novi Sad in a short period of time.
The organisation said three dogs have been found in the city with their claws ripped out, but no suspects had been found.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.