Police say pit bull wasn’t tortured; but they can’t explain the message on his …

Police in Savage, Minn., say a pit bull named Cesar wasn’t tortured. More likely his injuries came from being hit by a car, they say.

But there’s one thing their car accident theory can’t explain:

How Cesar ended up with a warning, written  in green magic marker, on his back. It said, “Back off, Bob.”

Cesar made headlines across the Twin Cities last week when Midwest Animal Rescue and Service (MARS), in Brooklyn Park, began a social media campaign to help pay for his medical treatment.

His owner Robert Cole, a dog trainer, had taken the dog to be treated at MARS, where he sometimes helps out with newly arrived pit bulls. MARS issued a statement on its website and Facebook page last week seeking help with Cesar’s medical bill, and described what had happened to him as an abduction and torture.

That’s how a lot of media outlets in the Twin Cities reported it.

Now, police say the dog’s wounds were not the result of torture, but most likely inflicted by a car.

“They probably believed the dog was taken and tortured, but the evidence doesn’t support that,” Capt. Dave Muelken told KARE 11.

Cole said Cesar and his black Lab, Shelby, disappeared Wednesday, and later turned up back in his driveway. Only Cesar was injured.

Cole came home and discovered what he thought were stab wounds to Cesar’s hind legs, and someone had written “Back off Bob” in green magic marker on Cesar’s back.

Police said on Friday that the physical evidence shows that the injuries were not consistent with Cesar being beaten or stabbed, and appeared to have come from a car accident. Investigators based that on a medical report they received from the Douglas Animal Hospital in Osseo, where Cesar was taken after he was treated at the animal rescue. As for the writing on his back, they offered no explanation for that.

Cole said he’d like to believe the police version, but neither he nor MARS seem convinced.

“If he was struck by a car he’d be pretty messed up all over his body, not just his legs and hips,” Cole said. “And how do you explain the markings?”

A veterinarian who examined Cesar on behalf of MARS said Cesar had no broken bones, no road rash, and that his cuts appeared to be “clean,” as opposed to the more jagged ones that would result from a car accident.

MARS officials said anyone who donated to Cesar’s care and feels they were misled can retrieve their donations, all of which were made through PayPal.

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