Laura Simmons, operations manager for the Lucas County dog warden, holds a male ‘pit bull’ named Kirby, who was shot twice in the chest. Kirby will survive but likely needs a leg amputated.
THE BLADE/ANDY MORRISON
A 3-month-old "pit bull" puppy who was shot in the chest has a second chance after efforts by the Lucas County dog warden and Lucas County Pit Crew.
The brown and white male dog, who weighs about 20 pounds, was found by the Toledo Police Department in the 1600 block of Norwalk Street, Toledo, early Monday morning, with two bullet holes in his chest near the top of his front left leg. It is not known who shot the dog, said Laura Simmons, operations manager at the Lucas County dog warden.
"He was either shot twice, or one bullet went in one of the holes and came out the other," Ms. Simmons said. "We have him on pain medication to keep him comfortable until he can have surgery."
Despite his severe injuries, the dog, now named Kirby, was in good spirits Wednesday, wagging his tail and giving licks to anyone who petted him.
Kirby was taken to the Toledo Area Humane Society for X-rays Tuesday, which show that the top of its leg was shattered by the bullet or bullets and that the leg most likely will need to be amputated, said Lucas County Dog Warden Julie Lyle.
Ms. Lyle called Lucas County Pit Crew to see if they would be willing to take the dog, which most likely is going to need extensive medical care. If the leg needs to be amputated, medical costs are estimated to cost about $1,400, said Jean Keating, executive director of the Pit Crew.
The rescue group agreed to pick up the dog today and will take it directly to Dr. Gary Thompson at West Suburban Veterinary Clinic, 3265 North King Rd., Sylvania Township.
"We are struggling to get all of our spays and neuters completed. We can’t really take on a major surgery like this," Ms. Lyle said. "Plus, he’s going to need a lot of recovery and that would best be done in a foster home, not in a cage here."
Efforts to reduce euthanasia that includes saving dogs in dire need like the puppy are part of the reason the dog warden’s live release rate has climbed to just shy of 63.7 percent for the first eight months of 2012, compared to just below 46.2 percent during the same time period in 2011. Before Ms. Lyle became dog warden two and a half years ago, only about 20 percent of the dogs that came into the dog warden were released alive, under former dog warden Tom Skeldon.
Live-release statistics include dogs that are adopted, returned to their owners, or transferred to shelters and rescue groups.
"Pit bull"-type dogs transferred in the first eight months of 2012 totaled 157, compared to 110 for the same time-period in 2011. An additional 41 "pit bulls" were adopted at the pound. Before Ms. Lyle took over as dog warden, "pit bulls" were automatically killed, even as puppies.
Tax-deductible donations toward Kirby’s medical care can be sent to Lucas County Pit Crew, P.O. Box 351222, Toledo 43635.
The group also takes online donations via its Web site at lucascountypitcrew.com. The group supports responsible guardians of "pit bull"-type dogs through education, advocacy, training assistance, spay/neuter promotion, and adoption.