MILTON — A local couple who rescued a dog with serious injuries plans to make him part of their family.

On July 17, Taylor Paul was at his place of employment, Mako Athletics in Pensacola, where a coworker pointed out a dog running around behind the gym. According to Paul, they proceeded to get a better look when they realized the dog was a Pomeranian with a serious eye injury.

“As he got a little closer we realized that his eye was pretty much torn off and dangling,” Paul said. “I'm an animal lover so the only thing I knew to do was to grab him and take him to the vet. As my fiancé got on the phone and started calling I began chasing this poor little guy around the complex.”

Paul’s fiancé, Mallory Mucci, goes to college in New Orleans but lives in Milton with Paul when not at school. The couple has three other dogs, two Pomeranians and a German Shepherd mix.

“Luckily, he turned and ran up the stairs that surround the front of the complex next to the road,” Paul said. “It was here that I was able to corner him. He began walking up to me slowly but with caution and obviously scared.

“It was at this moment when I realized just how bad his eye was. I was able to pick him up and proceeded back to the gym where a fellow coach and the owner who spotted him had water and food ready for him.”

Animal Hospital of Pensacola's Dr. Marlene Baumeister treated the animal.

“In order to give this guy the life and chance that he deserves, we decided to take him in and pay the cost to have him saved,” Paul said.

Paul said that the vet found that the dog had been on the streets for at least three days, was about two or three years old and once had a broken leg that was never set correctly. Neither Paul nor the vet is sure how the dog’s eye injury occurred, but they believe it might have been due to a dog bite.

As for the current condition of the dog — whom they named Mako —  Paul said he is doing much better; the dog had surgery to remove his eye and stitch the hole, went back in to treat an infection, and recently got his stitches removed.

Paul and Mucci called several clinics and animal shelters to let them know about the found dog, but no one ever claimed him, so the couple decided to keep Mako.

“This little guy, Mako, needs to have the chance at a new and better life," Paul said.