The 4-year-old dog, Kevin, has been hospitalized since an Oakland police officer spotted him lying near the side of the road at Bancroft Avenue and Havens Court on Saturday, Oakland Animal Services director Megan Webb said.
According to Niess, a building contractor did not shut the front door to their home properly last Thursday, allowing Kevin and a 1-year-old schnauzer, Clint, to escape.
"Our contractor was heartbroken," Niess said. "He is a dog lover too and, right after he noticed, he got in his truck and scoured the neighborhood."
The dogs were still missing at about 7 p.m. Saturday night, when Niess got a phone call from Oakland Animal Services.
"They called and said, 'We have some good news and bad news,'" Niess said. "I thought that maybe they had only found one of the dogs, but I never imagined anything like this."
Webb said that a patrol officer found Kevin about two miles away from home and that he was "near death."
"When the officer brought the dog to us, he was in shock," Webb said. "He was found in the rain, laid out to die on the side of the road."
Kevin looked like he had been badly beaten and kicked, Webb said.
The dog suffered pellet gun wounds near his eyes and on his head as well as a broken elbow and severe bruising, Webb said.
Kevin was later transported to Berkeley Pet Emergency Hospital.
Since his admission into the clinic, Kevin has received numerous treatments, medications and surgeries amounting to more than $10,000, Niess said.
Clint is still missing.
Both Niess and his partner have made two visits to the hospital every day.
"He has been getting progressively better," Niess said. "By Sunday, he was able to lift his head and lay on my husband's lap."
Although Kevin has a lot of healing to do, Niess said that he and his husband are looking forward his homecoming.
"This morning they were scheduled to go back into his elbow and reposition the pins they inserted," Niess said. "But the doctor told us he'll be home by tomorrow."
Niess said he was excited about Kevin's return, but over the course of events, he began to lose faith in the city.
"I've always wanted to believe in Oakland," Niess said. "But I find it really frustrating that, near the place they found him, someone was shot the next night. What kind of a world are we living in, where helpless animals are beaten and people are gunned down?"
Despite the injuries inflicted upon Kevin, Niess said that, more than revenge, he wants to raise awareness within the community.
"For me, I can't even be angry," Niess said. "I've talked to many people who are upset about this, but I just want people to know that this kind of thing is happening and that we can't allow it to go on."
Niess said that a welcome home party and fundraiser to cover Kevin's medical expenses is planned for Dec. 30. Community members can keep track of Kevin's progress at helpkevinfindclint.blogspot.com.
As of 3:30 p.m. today, police had no suspect leads in the attempted killing.
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact Oakland Animal Services at (510) 535-5602.