Animal cruelty is something which is so hard to fathom, yet the headlines just never stop. We long for a time when such stories are rare rather than a daily reminder of why we continue to advocate for these creatures and give them a voice. Today’s reminder comes from Ella, Billie and Stan, three American Staffordshire Terrier mixes who were found in Las Cruces, NM with gunshot wounds and desperately needing help. The three dogs, ranging in ages from one to two years old, wandered onto a Good Samaritan’s property. That Good Samaritan contacted Cherished K-9 All Breed Rescue for help.
Ella, whom the rescue believes may be Stan and Billie’s mother, sustained a severe wound to one of her legs. Stan’s injuries, some mild lacerations, were not life threatening but Ella and Billie were obviously in bad shape. In addition to Ella’s leg injury, Billie appeared to have a wound on her lower jaw. Both Ella and Stan were friendly and welcomed the efforts to help. Billie on the other hand, was terrified and understandably wary at first. Carla, first responder from Cherished K-9, managed to earn her trust and was able to get a good look at Billie. She was horrified to see her bottom jaw was completely fractured along with several displaced teeth.
The rescue had Ella and Billie seen by orthopedic vet, Dr. Jim Koschmann to get complete evaluations. X-rays indicated both dogs had been shot at close range, shattering Ella’s elbow and half of Billie’s jaw. Sadly, Ella’s leg could not be saved and would need to be amputated. The hope for Billie was that her jaw could be pinned by the surgeon, but there were no guarantees – losing half of her jaw was a distinct possibility. The rescue was able to secure a very good price for both surgeries, but at almost $1,000, it was still going to stretch their resources very thin. Upon hearing about all these sweet girls had gone through, ISF was happy to offer them a grant to help. Between the hefty discount from the vet (due in part to local news coverage) and ISF’s grant, Ella and Billie received the treatment they needed.
Ella’s surgery went just as expected. She has adjusted very well to being on three legs and “…gets around like a pro!” Billie surprised us all as Dr. Koschmann felt that her jaw may heal on its own and opted to not reconstruct it after all. She proved him right and healed beautifully, inside and out. Once again, we see the indomitable spirit of our canine friends. Billie went from a fearful and hesitant dog to a gentle and affectionate fur baby. Both dogs, along with Stan, found their forever homes in very short order. Although they were adopted separately, the families know each other so these pups will be able to enjoy lots of future play dates. Unfortunately, no arrest(s) have been made in connection with this crime. If you have any information, please contact the Las Cruces Sherriff’s Department at (575) 525-1911.
Written by Shandra Locken
Edited by Bob Stone