Balloon operator spots dog wounded and abandoned

An abandoned dog was rescued on Valentine's Day after being shot and left to die in the middle of the desert.

A hot air balloon pilot saw the injured dog as he was landing his balloon and rushed over to help.

It happened in the west valley near Tonopah.

Veterinarians believe the dog was shot three times with a high-powered BB gun. He's alive because that pilot took him to get help.

Video from that Valentine's Day hot air balloon ride shows as the balloon is about to land, the pilot and passengers saw a white dog running towards them. Once they landed, they realized the dog was hurt and hungry.

"This is where one BB shot him, and he's got a little wound on his belly," said Jason Elkins with Equinox Balloons.

Elkins fed the dog and searched unsuccessfully for the owner. They couldn't leave the injured dog behind. 

"It kind of broke my heart, it made me feel like maybe it's where he needs to be, so instead of taking him to a shelter I brought him home," he said.

The Elkins family named him Chase since he chased after their hot air balloon.

"I always pet him, he's a very good dog, and whenever we feed him he gulps down his food a lot," said Jackson Elkins.

Chase is on pain medication and might need surgery. 

"He's looking at about 200 bucks just for the x-ray, just to look at his arm. They said well it could involved surgery, and he's got a tooth that's broken that needs to come out," said Jason.

The Elkins family wasn't planning on adding a family member, but Chase will now be the newest crew member of Equinox Hot Air Balloons.

"I think this dog is going to spend a lot of time flying balloons and chasing balloons as well," he said. 

The family is accepting donations to help with Chase's medical care; you can donate here:
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