05/10/2012 07:50 EDT | Updated 07/10/2012 05:12 EDT

Beaten puppy recovers well, adopted by student

A puppy beaten by his New Brunswick owner has been successfully rehabilitated at the P.E.I. Humane Society and adopted by a student from Charlottetown's Atlantic Veterinary College.

Riley, an eight-month-old Shih Tzu, was rescued from his home in Fredericton in February and taken to AVC after his owner,19-year-old Nicholas Morehouse, beat him unconscious.

Morehouse was convicted of injuring an animal and sentenced to 30 days in jail.

The dog had several fractured bones in his legs and suffered head trauma.

After treatment at AVC, Riley was rehabilitated at the P.E.I. Humane Society.

"That was a significant trauma inflicted to that dog. It was definitely rough in the first few days, wondering if he would recover from his head traumas," said Dr. Danielle Dunn-MacLean, a veterinarian at the Humane Society.

"Three or four times a day they would lie him down and exercise his limbs to make sure his muscles got exercised over the duration of his stay. So, I'm very pleased with his progress. Not very often do we have such a positive outcome from a cruelty case like this."

Riley recently went for his last check-up, and has fully recovered. His treatment cost over $2,000. Most of that was covered by a grant and the Humane Society will be fundraising for the rest.

'The sweetest thing'

Following his final check up, Riley went home with Courtney Dwyer, who graduated from AVC this week.

Dwyer was one of the first to see Riley when he was checked into the AVC hospital.

"I immediately went in to see him because I'm partial to Shih Tzus," she said.

"He was almost non-responsive laying in his cage, but when you did pet him he would occasionally lift his head."

She immediately wanted to adopt him, but it was never a sure thing. The dog had two broken legs, and there were concerns that brain injuries might affect his temperament, and making him unsuitable for adoption.

Fortunately, problems did not develop.

"He's the sweetest thing ever," said Dwyer.

"He loves attention. Just everything. He's just the sweetest little thing."

Riley will be joining another Shih Tzu that Dwyer already owns.