TRINITY, TX (KTRE) – Aliesha, Mike and their children love their dogs. Their pit bulls are family. They didn't worry much when their 16-month-old pit bull, Ace, went missing.
"Once before he'd come up missing and he'd come home by the second day," said Aliesha Jackson, Ace's owner.
The second day came and went and still no Ace.
"The weather was getting bad and like a little baby scared of the thunder and rain, deathly scared of it," said Jackson.
The next day, Aliesha and the kids plastered their neighborhood with flyers. Later that afternoon a vague phone call sent the family to pick up Ace.
"When we got there it was devastating. Everyone was crying," said Reilly.
In just three days away from home, Ace was not the same dog.
"His ears were cut off. His whole body was saturated in blood. His mouth was bleeding fresh blood by the bucket."
Ace needed a vet immediately. Dr. Brenna Hanly first treated the puppy. Ace's ears caught Hanly's attention.
"Kind of like a home-made ear crop. They were uneven and infected, so, they had been like that for a few days," said Hanly.
After closer inspection, Hanly was sure ace had been forced to fight.
"We assumed that the dog had been stolen and someone was going to keep him. We never thought in a million years that the dog would be fought," explains Michael Haily.
Hanly tried to perform extensive, invasive surgery to try to recreate Ace's upper palette with missing bones and tissue, and extreme bleeding.
After the procedure, the family says Ace seemed better.
"Trying to be positive. Thinking if he's at home he'll get better because he's at home with his family," said Jackson.
But Ace struggled to eat and then more problems.
"He pulled the stitch out and half of the things stitched up came down," said Jackson.
"Open hole to the sinus cavity which would lead to infection," explains Hanly.
Aleisha, Mike and the kids had to decide what do to.
"It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do," Jackson said.
Putting their puppy down was the best option for Ace.
An investigator with the Trinity County Sheriff's Office is looking into Ace's torture and ultimate death.
The family asks for folks to add "Ace Jackson" as a friend on Facebook to get updates on their story.