One dog is at home recovering after he was shot in the head multiple times with a BB gun last week.
Brownie was found on death’s door in the midst of the snowstorm on Dec. 10, said Gwen Hood, president of A Better Life Animal Rescue.
He was found lying in the snow, lethargic and immobile, by Gerry and Janet Lott, Hood said. They took him inside to try to warm him up, but there weren’t any vets open in Morganton because of the snow.
Their daughter, Christie, found Brownie’s owner on Facebook, and the family was able to take him back to his owner, Edith Pritchard.
A Better Life Animal Rescue reached out to Pritchard to help her with Brownie’s treatment, but they weren’t able to take him to the vet until the next day because of all of the snow. One of the rescue’s members, Lori Rice, dug her car out of the snow to take Brownie to the veterinarian’s office.
Once they got Brownie to the vet, the news was devastating, Hood said.
“He was shot full of BBs,” Hood said. “It was mostly head, neck, eyes and ears.”
Brownie wasn’t just shot on accident, Hood said. He had to have been restrained, either by getting stuck in the snow on his own, or by someone restraining him on their own.
“The X -ray is horrifying to see,” Hood said. “In the X -ray, you can’t even count the BBs.”
One of the BBs was embedded in the middle of Brownie’s right eye and he had fluid in his lungs. The veterinarian’s main concern was stabilizing him.
However, with swelling not going down, Dr. Brittany Bristol, a veterinarian at the Animal Hospital of Marion, had to remove Brownie’s right eye. Bristol still wasn’t sure if Brownie would keep his eyesight in his left eye, Hood said.
Luckily, though, he didn’t have any ear or brain damage, Hood said.
“He’s a fighter,” Hood said. “He has a strong will to live. He really fought.”
Things started to look up for Brownie, though, when he got to go home Monday. He’s still recovering, but he was happy to see everyone that came to pick him up.
Hood is concerned, however, that whoever hurt Brownie will hurt other animals, too.
“Someone really tortured Brownie,” Hood said. “I can’t imagine the trauma that Brownie went through. They’ll do it to somebody else’s pets.”
Brownie was outside without supervision prior to being shot, but with the number of times Brownie was shot, Hood said there was no excuse for this.
“What this person did to Brownie was just very mean,” Hood said. “It was cruel, and it was mean, and it was intentional.”
A Better Life reported the incident to the Burke County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Steve Whisenant said that animal control is investigating the claims.
“Whoever did that really needs to be found,” Hood said. “They’ll hurt somebody else, or a person, or a child.”
When Brownie was found, he was just a quarter of a mile from his home, Hood said.
Brownie was lucky, but one of Pritchard’s other dogs wasn’t so fortunate. Her 6-year-old Chihuahua, Petey, was sick the night before Brownie was taken to the hospital.
Petey had been playing before he got sick, and the illness came on suddenly. The rescue was going to take Petey to the hospital with Brownie, but he died before anyone could make it to him.
Petey also had been allowed outside without supervision. Hood said they believe Petey may have gotten into something poisonous that led to his death.
The rescue is focusing on Brownie’s future and his recovery. From now on, Brownie will be an inside-only dog and will only go outside if he is on a leash, Hood said.
A Better Life Animal Rescue is helping Pritchard with Brownie’s after care, Hood said.
Anyone interested in donating can visit www.abetterlifeanimalrescue.com or mail a check to PO Box 8311, Morganton, N.C. 28680.
Chrissy Murphy is a staff writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 828-432-8941.