Twin Cities Veterinary Clinic took care of a dog Tuesday that had been found tied to a tree in the Swanson River Road area with apparent gunshot wounds to her head.
After cleaning the wounds and taking X-rays of the dog, veterinarian Tabitha Perkovich said it appears as though the dog had been shot twice -- once on the neck and once higher on the head -- with a small-gauge shotgun. The X-ray revealed signs of more than 50 pellet wounds. Her body was unscathed.
Perkovich said the dog is in stable condition, did not require major surgery and could likely expect to recover if monitored closely. The dog is currently staying with the family that found her.
Veterinarian Jim Delker, who helped treat dog, said whoever shot the animal likely thought the shots had killed her.
"I suspect someone assumed it was fatal and left the dog there," Delker said.
Based on the animal's infections, Perkovich suspected the dog had been tied to the tree anywhere from one to three days. She said the animal was in relatively stable condition.
"It wasn't dehydrated -- it had probably been eating snow -- and it wasn't severely skinny like it had been starving," Perkovich said.
Still, if the dog had spent much more time outside, she likely wouldn't have survived.
"Another week and there wouldn't have been a chance," Delker said. Other than the infections in the dog's wounds, she was overall very fortunate, according to Delker.
"She's a very lucky dog. Most wouldn't have survived the blast," he said. "It's a heavily muscled dog and there was a lot of soft tissue damage, but she avoided a lot of major damage."
Andrew Waite can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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