PHOENIX (KSAZ) - A puppy was found in a neighborhood in the far west valley over the weekend. A woman took the dog home, thinking it must've just gotten out of its yard. But a few minutes later, that woman's husband noticed the dog was more than just a lost pup.
The woman who discovered and rescued the injured dog on Saturday night near the White Tank Mountains said you can clearly see the bullet, but she had no idea at the time the animal was even injured.
The dog is recuperating with a loving foster family now, but his ex-rays show this was a rough weekend for the black Labrador mix -- that is after all, a bullet in his shoulder.
"I can't imagine that there's any reason to shoot a dog. I can't even imagine it," said Jamie Strattard, who rescued the dog after it ran in front of her car on Saturday evening in her rural west valley neighborhood.
She took him home thinking he was muddy and lost.
"I figured I would take him home, give him a bath, post him on our neighborhood page to see if anyone was missing their dog," she said.
When her husband came to the car to help with the dog, "he looked at me and said that's not mud and I said, yeah, I was just touching him and he said no, it's blood."
It turns out the dog had been shot three times. The Strattards took him to an animal hospital to have the bullet removed and his wounds treated.
Thankfully for the dog, none of his vital organs were hit.
The Phoenix non-profit group, Arizona Small Dogs Rescue, is picking up the hefty vet bill and will pay future ones.
Strattard says she knows the group has dozens of dogs they care for and hopes the community will pitch in to help.
"We've got the original vet bill for the x-rays and everything also bringing him into our shelter," said Arizona Small Dog Rescue's Marissa Jackson. "We'll also get him fully vetted, neutered before he is put up for adoption if we cannot find the rightful owner."
Jamie says this dog is such a sweet boy. She believes he was someone's pet, but he had no collar or microchip. The family has two large dogs, so they will foster this Lab-mix while he recovers and then Arizona Small Dog Rescue will take over from there.
If you'd like to help, go to azsmalldog.org.