Injured dog stable; police ID person of interest in shooting

An unnamed 1- to 2-year-old German shepherd was brought into the Lucas Canine Care and Control with a bullet wound. The dog is currently on pain medication and resting.
An unnamed 1- to 2-year-old German shepherd was brought into the Lucas Canine Care and Control with a bullet wound. The dog is currently on pain medication and resting.

A stray German shepherd shot on Monday in East Toledo was at Lucas County Canine Care & Control on Tuesday, while city police continued to investigate and said they had identified a person of interest.

The unnamed, black-and-tan female dog estimated to be 1 or 2 years old was seen resting on a porch in the 900 block of Clark Street before she was shot in the right shoulder just before noon Monday.

Dr. Michael Washkevich, a veterinarian at the Animal Emergency and Critical Care Center of Toledo who treated the dog, said her humerus was struck and the bullet ricocheted down to the radius, shattering that bone, too. The slug remains lodged in a piece of bone.


Cutie's Fund, created to help dogs at the Lucas County Canine Care & Control with high-cost medical needs, is paying for the dog's emergency care. Director Julie Lyle said the fund could help pay for the amputation surgery as well.

Created in November, 2012, Cutie's Fund has raised more than $71,000 and helped more than 80 dogs with a wide variety of problems such as broken bones, embedded collars, heartworm, hip dysplasia, severe wounds, emaciation, and extreme illness.

Donations to Cutie’s Fund are tax-deductible and may be made in person or mailed to Lucas County Canine Care & Control, 410 S. Erie St., Toledo, 43604, or online here. Checks should be made payable to Lucas County Canine Care & Control with “Cutie’s Fund” specified on the memo line.

Julie Lyle, director of the county shelter, said the canine was in stable condition and being kept as comfortable as possible. She must wait for a required three-day stray hold to see if anyone claims her before any further decisions are made. The dog could then be transferred to a rescue organization for surgery to amputate the damaged leg and for subsequent rehabilitation.

“She’s on some pretty good pain [medications], so we really can’t judge her behavior at this point other than that she’s handle-able,” Ms. Lyle said.

Sgt. Joe Heffernan, Toledo police spokesman, said neighborhood residents cared for the dog until officials arrived. The dog seemed sweet-tempered despite her severe injury and pain, the sergeant said, noting she allowed people to wrap her in a tablecloth while waiting for help.

He said the man police believe might have shot the dog has several misdemeanor warrants on a variety of charges, including assault. Because of prior convictions, it would be illegal for him to own a gun, officials said.

“As soon as the officers are finished with their investigation, hopefully they’ll have enough to file charges,” Sergeant Heffernan said. “... We can only go as far as the evidence takes us.”

The department does not track the number of reported shootings involving animals, but Sergeant Heffernan and Ms. Lyle both said it happens from time to time.

“There have been a number of them," Ms. Lyle said.

The German shepherd's case comes on the heels of a plea from the Wood County Humane Society seeking information about a dead cat found March 13 along a rural road northwest of Bowling Green. The black and white male cat had been confined in a pet carrier and then shot. That case is still open.

Contact Alexandra Mester:, 419-724-6066, or on Twitter @AlexMesterBlade.