German shepherd found with gunshot wounds

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

X-rays revealed 36 buckshot pellets in the hip area of a 1-year-old German shepherd rescued Friday by the Bollinger County Sheriff's Department. Dr. Colleen Retz of the Bollinger County Veterinary Service said the buckshot was a minor problem compared to the two large gunshot wounds to the dog's front leg.

Though Retz' assistants are calling him "Lucky" Retz said she's not sure how lucky he is, because his leg is unsalvageable.

"I feel really bad for him," Retz said. "I've been calling him 'Gunshot'."

A maintenance worker at Liley Cemetery outside of Marble Hill found the injured dog and reported it to the sheriff's department, according to chief deputy Leo McElrath. McElrath said deputy Jeff Woodard responded to the call and transported the dog to the Bollinger County Veterinary Service.

McElrath said there is an ongoing investigation regarding the dog. He said at this time the department doesn't know if a crime was committed.

"It would be against the law to shoot him maliciously, but if the dog was chasing someone's cows it wouldn't be illegal. It all depends on what the circumstances were, and we don't know the circumstances yet," McElrath said.

"You'd have to be defending yourself or your property to shoot the animal; you couldn't just shoot it because you were scared of it," he added.

Employees at the veterinary service certainly aren't scared of him. Retz said from Lucky's personality it's obvious to her that he's been socialized well.

"He's been very tolerant of medicine and wound cleaning considering what he's gone through," she said. "He's a very good dog."

No family has come forward to claim Lucky, but the veterinary service is treating him in the hopes that either his owners will come looking for him, or he'll be adopted into a new family.

"He's a very confident dog and very friendly," Retz said. "If he does well when we take his leg off he needs to go to a family with a fenced yard."

She said it's obvious to see from Lucky's personality that he's been socialized as a puppy, but his weight tells her he's been fending for himself for some time.

Lucky stayed on antibiotics and pain medications until his surgery Monday. Retz said the cost of his care will come to approximately $400, and the veterinary service is hoping for help.

"We're hoping a good Samaritan will help us out," she said. She added that Lucky's immunizations are now current and he will be neutered during his stay at the veterinary service.

"I'm hoping he'll get a new family and have a good life ahead of him," Retz said.

For information on Lucky, call the Bollinger County Veterinary Service at 573-238-3063.

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