by: Ken Lemon Updated:
ROCK HILL, S.C. - Even though he was shot 18 times with a BB gun, A 6-week-old puppy's recovery took a big step forward Wednesday when he was reunited with the man who is credited with saving his life.
Darryl Lietzesie kissed Brody when they were reunited.
“For some reason when I walked in, he looked like he knew me,” he said.
One of the owners of the animal hospital nursing Brody back to health said the same thing.
“Animals know when someone is important to them and that meeting you can tell that Brody felt that way about Darryl,” owner April Splawn said.
This puppy is meeting his new owner -- a 10-year-old girl.
Since the story has gotten a lot of attention, he family doesn't want to give the girl's last name.
Kailey is counting down the days, just two more before she can bring Brody home.
The smile on Kailey's face and the whimper from Brody explains why they belong together.
"It's like happiness for me,” Kailey said. “A bunch of happiness."
Kailey had Woodrow, her therapy dog for anxiety issues, but he died in January.
"When I lost my buddy Woodrow, I thought I lost half of my heart," Kailey said. "That half of my heart is back. He brought it back to me."
Project Safe Pet was swamped with adoption requests after the story of Brody went viral.
"We had people from Australia wanting to adopt him, people from Japan reaching out on our website," said Alicia Schwartz, with Project Safe Pet.
They narrowed it down to three families and let Kailey visit Brody and there was an instant connection.
"We all kind of knew that she was the right thing to do,” Schwartz said. “That she was the right choice."
Now the Kailey and Brody are healing together.
"I like to snuggle with him and rock him when he goes to sleep," Kailey said. "He makes me so happy."
Project Safe Pets and Ebenezer Animal Hospital said all of those people who didn't get to adopt Brody, can still adopt one of the hundreds of other pets looking for a home.
Man saves Brody’s life
De’Monte Douglas, 17, and a 14-year-old are accused of using the puppy for target practice Sunday, Rock Hill police said.
Some of the BBs were logged under the dog’s skin.
A young boy at the Wildwood Springs Apartment complex tried to stop the attack, but couldn't. He ran to maintenance man Lietzesie for help.
"Mr. D, you got to help the puppy. You got to help him,” Lietzesie said the boy told him.
Lietzesie said he got there just as the attackers began to throw knives at the dog.
“It destroyed me especially when I touched his head and said, 'Are you going to be alright little buddy?' And he looked at me,” Lietzesie said.
Lietzesie asked for this reunion.
"I'm happy he is alive,” he said. “That says a lot to me, because I thought he wasn't going to make it."
Operators of the Ebenzer Animal Hospital said Brody is going to a good home because of Lietzesie.
"Him doing that definitely saved Brody's life,” Splawn said.
Lietzesie credits the child who warned him. He told the child that Brody is OK.
“He put his hands like this and said, 'Thank you God. Thank you God,’” Lietzesie said.
Read more top trending stories on wsoctv.com:
- 10-year-old girl dies after saving toddlers from being hit by SUV
- Norovirus outbreak forces CMS school to close Friday
- 9 Investigates low health grades at well-known restaurants
- Sheriff: Cop who killed Kansas gunman a 'tremendous hero'
- 10 indicted in major Union County cocaine operation
© 2017 Cox Media Group.
Girl adopts puppy shot 18 times with BB gun
Police: High school senior shot, killed during party in south Charlotte
UNCC quarterback, younger brother of Panthers TE, arrested on rape charges
Alcohol a factor in deadly northwest Charlotte crash, police say
Fatal crash in SC may be connected to drive-by shootings