Christmas miracle: woman's dog saved by generous deputy

- A Maricopa County Sheriff's Deputy is being credited with saving a dog's life not once, but twice.

Ginger, who is a Pitbull Mix, was shot in the head by Hayley Miller's neighbor on Saturday. Ginger reportedly dug under a fence, and made it into the neighbor's yard. The neighbor reportedly felt threatened, and shot Ginger.

The deputy, Brian Bowling, was the first to spot Ginger after she was shot.

"Because the dog was injured, I didn't know if the dog was going to be safe to handle or not," said Bowling. "But instead of running away from me or trying to bite me or anything, she ran right up to me and started wagging her tail, and tried to get in the front seat of my patrol car."

Deputy Bowling rushed Ginger to an animal hospital. Ginger was in rough shape.

"The bullet was in the back of the head, but not in the skull," said Veterinarian Nicole Keaner. "It bounced off of the skull, so the dog was really lucky."

Miller was not with Ginger at the time of the incident. She was at the movies. Ginger needed surgery, but with a surgery costing abour $2,500, it was out of reach financially for Miller.

For a time, euthanasia seemed to be Ginger's fate.

Until Miller received a call for Deputy Bowling.

"He got me on the phone," said Miller. "When I said, 'yes, we need to put her down', he said, 'please don't. We're going to cover all of the costs.'"

Ginger is now recovering from the unfortunate incident, while Miller is grateful for the support she received.

"This could have been a really sad Christmas for us, but he just stepped in," said Miller. "It just warmed my heart to the point where I thought if he's this generous with a dog, imagine his compassion with people."

"The mere fact she was shot by a .357 at what we assume was close range in the head and survived that, it means there is a big reason for all of this," said Bowling. "This wasn't just about a neighbor who shot a violent pit bull. There's a lot more to this story."

Miller has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to pay Bowling back. To learn more, click here.

Anyone interested in adopting Ginger can also click here.

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