By Jane Weatherford
In the last two months, four dogs have entered the Brown County Humane Society animal shelter with gunshot wounds. We are not sure if they are related, but it is unusual to see so many dogs with gunshot wounds in such a short period of time.
The first dog arrived as a stray with a gunshot wound in December. He was an unneutered, male Pitbull mix brought in by someone who had found him along the road. Our staff rushed him to the vet, but despite best efforts he did not survive. No one called about him and no one came looking for him. The circumstances surrounding this case are unknown.
The second dog came in to the animal shelter a few weeks later with an injury to his hind leg. We named him Eddie and treated his leg, not knowing that it was a buckshot wound. He seemed better so we neutered him and made him available for adoption. Eddie stayed in our shelter for several weeks, but no one was interested in adopting him. Our vet issued a health certificate indicating he was healthy and he went on a transport to Baypath Humane Society in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.
Shortly after arriving in Massachusetts we received a message from Baypath’s shelter manager telling us that Eddie’s wound had reopened and their vet had found buckshot in it. Eddie underwent surgery to remove the buckshot. Shortly after being anesthetized Eddie had a sudden drop in blood pressure due to an allergic reaction to the anesthesia.
The surgery was rushed because of the blood pressure drop and a thorough job of removing the buckshot was difficult. Eddie was adopted but is still having trouble with his leg due to the buckshot wound.
About a month later a wonderful, unneutered male dog came into our shelter as a stray. Blackie was a big fluffy dog with long beautiful hair. Blackie was tested and found to be heartworm positive. He underwent treatment and was neutered. He too was pronounced healthy by a vet and placed up for adoption.
Blackie spent many weeks in our shelter but was not adopted so he was sent on a transport to Medfield, Massachusetts. After arriving in Medfield Blackie was given a chest x-ray to determine what damage had been done to his heart from the heartworms. While examining the x-ray the vet saw a bullet lodged in Blackie. Fortunately, it did not seem to be causing any problems for Blackie.
Most recently a very sweet, unneutered male hound was picked up by animal control. He had a bullet entrance and exit wound right through the top side of his back. Amazingly no vital organs were struck.
The animal control officer rushed the dog to Bean Blossom Animal Clinic. He was treated and the vet felt that he would have a full recovery. After visiting the vet, animal control took the dog to the shelter to recuperate.
Within a few days the owner showed up to reclaim this wonderful dog named Jo Jo. She stated that her two dogs had taken off one day, she heard gunshots, and one returned, but the other did not. She then called the shelter to see if the dog was there. He was returned home. As far as we know this dog has completely recovered.
If you allow your dogs to run loose, please consider the danger they are in. Unneutered male dogs will stray far and wide in search of females in heat. Not only may someone accidentally hit them with a vehicle, but someone may intentionally shoot them as they are roaming.
None of these dogs had identification on and so we could not contact their owners. Please keep your dog confined safely at home and be sure they have identification on in case they do get away.