We live in the rural south where the pet overpopulation is a real problem. I work in a little town where the general population lives well below the poverty line, so the problem there is even worse. It’s not at all uncommon to see dogs roaming, but Friday afternoon I saw one I hadn’t seen before. I just happened to be looking out the front window when this little blue heeler mix limped into our parking lot. It was obvious he was not okay, so I went outside to see if I could help. I called to him, and he limped right up to me. Of course, he had no collar and no identification. He had several bloody spots on his side and on the side of his face and was obviously just exhausted. My first thought was that he had been in a dog fight. Me being who I am, I always have dog food and water bowls and leashes in my truck, so I sneaked him into my office to give him a safe place to rest and offered him some food and water. He wasn’t interested in either but took advantage of the quiet office and rested while I took a few minutes to wrap up a couple of things before I left for the day to take him to the vet.
I called the vet to let them know we were on our way. I was afraid it would be difficult to get him in my truck since he obviously couldn’t jump. I was afraid I would hurt him if I picked him up, but I did so as gently as I could and put him in my passenger seat. He laid right back down and went back to sleep.
The vet took us right back and he quickly ruled out my suspicion of a dog fight. He pointed out what I hadn’t noticed–all of his injuries were on one side of his body. He got the clippers and started shaving him and exposed at least 50 shallow entry wounds.
This poor sweet little dog had been shot. Thank GOD none of them had gone deep enough to puncture a lung or anything. He was going to be okay but was in a lot of pain. The only treatment needed was anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and lots of rest. The meds I could do, no problem. The rest? Yeah, that was going to be the difficult part. I have two very rambunctious dogs of my own. When another dog comes over, it’s party time. Since it would have been very difficult to keep them separated, for his safety and comfort I just paid for them to board them until Monday, hopefully allowing me time to locate an owner over the weekend.
Turns out, it didn’t take nearly that long. As soon as I got home from the vet, I began posting his picture to local lost and found sites and local shelter sites on Facebook. I was still in the process of posting them when someone responded with a link to a post that someone had made earlier in the day frantically looking for their missing blue heeler mix that had gotten away from them. I called the guy and compared the pics of his missing dog to the pup I’d found and there was no doubt that this was his baby. He was devastated to learn that he’d been shot but incredibly relieved that he had stumbled into the path of an animal lover who made sure he got the treatment he needed. He picked him up from the vet the next morning and this sweet baby is now recovering at home where he belongs.
I’ve had my hands in local rescue for a while now, but it still shocks me and saddens me to my core to see the abuse. There was NO REASON for this animal to have to suffer this way. Absolutely NO REASON for him to have been shot. There’s no reason for ANY dog to ever be shot, but my God this dog was the sweetest, gentlest dog… it makes me sick. I know I’ve said before that maybe not everyone has a true purpose or calling in this life, but I fully believe that animals are mine. I pray that someday I’ll be able to do more than I do now, but until then I’ll do what I can every time I can. One animal at a time.
Follow me on Instagram @pamruns13.1 !