JEFFERSON COUNTY (KSDK) - The Open Door Animal Sanctuary is caring for a puppy found dragging itself along Highway 30 in Jefferson County Wednesday.
The black lab mix puppy nicknamed Dodger had been shot in his back at close range with a pellet gun, and the pellet was lodged in his spine. He underwent surgery Wednesday afternoon to have the pellet removed and is doing well. He is expected to survive.
The person who saw four-month-old Dodger immediately brought him to Open Door Animal Sanctuary.
PHOTOS: Puppy with pellet in spine found dragging self down highway
"This is that projectile which has taken on that mushroom appearance that it often does when it hits a solid surface," said Dr. Fred Wininger, who performed surgery on Dodger at Manchester's Veterinarian Speciality Services.
The details of the shooting are still fuzzy, but the vets knew they had to get Dodger into surgery and get the pellet out.
Dr. Wininger says thankfully Dodger is young and his bones haven't fully developed, so when he was shot his bones didn't shatter.
While Dodger may not be able to ham it up for the camera now, Dr. Wininger says soon he will be.
"Chances are he is going to walk again and be normal again," said Dr. Wininger, who thinks there's a 90 percent or higher chance that this sweet pup will walk again.
"We would love to find the person that did it and tell them a thing or two. Yes, it's absolutely very upsetting," said Lindsey Burg, director of development for Open Door Animal Sanctuary.
Cost of upcoming treatment for the dog is estimated to be around $4,700. Donations to go toward his care can be made to the Tom Cat's Repair Fund online or by mailing funds to P.O. Box 870, House Springs, Mo. 63051. Write "Tom Cat's Fund" in the memo line.
A police report has been filed with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department.