A stray German shepherd who was shot in East Toledo on Monday is now at the Lucas County Canine Care & Control. City police are continuing to investigate today and have 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.
Julie Lyle, director of the county shelter, said the canine is stable and is 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 the 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 handleable," Ms. Lyle said.
Sgt. Joe Heffernan, spokesman for the Toledo Police Department, said residents in the neighborhood cared for the dog until officials arrived. He said the dog seemed sweet-tempered despite her severe injury and pain. She allowed people to wrap her in a table cloth while waiting for help.
The department is continuing its investigation into the case and has a suspect they are looking for. The man they believe might have been responsible has several misdemeanor warrants on a variety of charges, including assault and because of his priors, 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.
The department does not track the number of reported shootings involving animals, but Sgt. 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 along a rural road northwest of Bowling Green on March 13 that had been confined in a pet carrier and then shot. That case is still open as well.
“We can only go as far as the evidence takes us," Sergeant Heffernan said.
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. Ms. 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 like 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 at lucascountydogs.com/donate/cuties-fund. Checks should be made payable to Lucas County Canine Care & Control with “Cutie’s Fund” specified on the memo line.
Contact Alexandra Mester at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6066, or on Twitter @AlexMesterBlade.