Puppy may have been shot in face, but doctors still not sure what caused injuries

Metal found in dog’s jaw consistent with bullet fragments

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Veterinarians at VCA Hollywood Animal Hospital said metal found in a one-year-old dog’s jaw could possibly be an indication that the Doberman was shot. The metal is consistent with bullet fragments, they believe.

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Puppy shot in the face in Broward County

The Doberman Rescue League responded to a call for emergency help in the Redland after someone saw the dog pacing back and forth in the area of S.W. 216th Street and 209th Avenue.

"We’ve seen bad cases, very bad cases but something like this? It’s heartbreaking, how someone can shoot a dog,” said Esteban Lopez, a volunteer with the Doberman Rescue League.

A video shows the puppy before its rescue. A voice on the video says, “I just want to help you.”

Doctors at VCA Hollywood Animal Hospital, where the dog was admitted, conducted evaluations on Monday to see what kind of treatment the puppy will need.

“Here you can see the metal,” said Natalie Savo, DVM, a staff veterinarian at Hollywood Animal Hospital, pointing at an X-ray of the Doberman’s mouth. Savo said the dog will need more X-rays as they try to figure out the extent of the injuries. Savo explained a possible treatment. " . . . the salvage procedure where we remove part of the jaw called a mandibulectomy. If that’s successful, she’ll have to learn how to eat and use her mouth."

Savo said the dog that rescuers named Clover has half of her tongue to a quarter of her tongue missing. “Both of them are things that she will be able to learn to get through."

Despite her injuries, the dog is resilient, the veterinarian said. She can walk and wants to eat. The hospital will administer a feeding tube while they figure out what’s next for Clover.

Rescue groups are in need of help for Clover’s medical expenses. To find out more, Grateful Paws Dog and Cat Rescue and Doberman Rescue League.

About the Authors:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba. 

Michelle F. Solomon is a multi-platform producer/reporter for Local10 and is the podcast producer/reporter/host of the station's original, true-crime podcast The Florida Files and producer of Local10.com's DigiShorts.