SAN ANTONIO – One dog was shot and another was chemically burned. Those are two rare injuries these strong pups survived, thanks to two San Antonio shelters. The dogs were not picked up together, but they're both now being treated at the Animal Defense League and are expected to make miraculous recoveries.
It was a disturbing pickup for any animal shelter worker.
"It hurts us. He's a big lover. I don't see why anybody would want to shoot the guy," said Bradley Wright, with the Animal Defense League.
The dog is 4-year-old American Staffordshire terrier named Mr. Big. Wright is amazed he's still alive.
At first, it appeared that there were two gunshot wounds. Then they realized one injury, on the right side of Mr Big's chest, is an entrance wound and another injury, on his left rib, is an exit wound.
"No bullet fragments inside of him. No bones broken. No blood vessels were punctured," Wright said. "So it's really kind of a miracle that he's as fine as he's going to be right here."
Mr. Big was found near Austin Highway and Eisenhauer Road.
Around the same time last week, Animal Care Services found little Ranger. Both dogs were transferred to the Animal Defense League on Friday.
Ranger, who is also an American Staffordshire terrier, has dealt with a lot in his four short months of life.
"His whole entire back, from about his neck to his tail, is burnt by chemicals," Wright said. "We immediately went to work on medicating the back and making sure that he's going to have the best possible life."
They can't prove this was abuse because it could be a bad allergic reaction to flea and tick medication. Still, the injury is more extensive than most burns Wright sees.
"It's not a normal injury. This one, it looks and stands out more than most," he said.
After some scarring and permanent hair loss, Ranger will fully recover.
"Nothing is going to change his demeanor because he's just full of love and energy right now," Wright said. "People look at them and go, 'Oh no there's something wrong with them!' But there's not."
While ACS investigators look into the few details they have about how each dog was injured, the Animal Defense League is working to get both dogs healthy and ready for adoption.
Both organizations point to the importance of their close partnership.
"We're able to pick up any pets from ACS that we can help out," Wright said. "We have an amazing hospital, a full-service hospital, that has vets on staff that are ready to help in these sort of situations, so it allows us to take on these challenges of gunshot wounds, broken legs, things like that."
The ADL vets will eventually make the call on when these dogs are ready for adoption. For now, they're still in recovery.
Anyone with information about what happened to either of these dogs is asked to call ACS at 210-207-4738.
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