EXCLUSIVE: Katherine Heigl Rescues a Bait Dog

03/15/2011 at 01:30 PM EDT

EXCLUSIVE: Katherine Heigl Rescues a Bait Dog
Courtesy of Katherine Heigl; Inset: x17
One former bait dog has had a very lucky turn of events.

A 2-month-old pit bull puppy has been rescued by Katherine Heigl and her mother Nancy. The duo, who founded the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting animal welfare, pulled the dog from the California City Shelter last week, Heigl's rep tells PEOPLEPets.com.

The puppy had been used as a bait dog in dog fights in California's Antelope Valley, and as a result, had puncture wounds and abscesses on his neck when he was found. He was taken to the vet, where his wounds were drained and stitched, but doctors found that the dog also had a broken neck vertebra. The bone cannot be operated on because it splintered, so the dog will stay in a neck brace for the next six to eight weeks.

While he recovers, the handsome young pit will stay with the Heigl family, after which they will try to find the puppy a new home. If that doesn't happen, they will adopt him. Heigl told us last year that she was hankering for a seventh rescue pup – we think this lucky dog has Heigl's name all over him!

Read more about Katherine Heigl on PEOPLEPets.com:
Katherine Heigl Pledges $1 Million to Help L.A.-area Animal Shelters
Katherine Heigl Wants a Seventh Rescue Dog

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