EL PASO COUNTY, Texas — A dog that was struck by two arrows in Far East El Paso county is on the road to recovery and nearly ready for adoption.
The Animal Services Center of El Paso says the dog's owner brought it in on April 18 and relinquished custody to the shelter, saying they found the dog like that.
“He had one that went to his left wrist and then he had an arrow through his right side and penetrated all the way through his chest of your organs and then exited the left side of his body,” said Dr. Alana Cannup, a veterinarian at the Animal Services Center.
Cannup knew she didn’t have the resources she needed, like an X-ray machine or proper operating room, to help Charlie the dog.
“We promised we'd help him. So I contacted a private veterinary clinic in town and desperately ask them if they would loan me the or, the operating room for him,” Cannup said.
So Cannup called the Johnsen Animal Hospital on Lee Trevino. Dr. Vicki Dashley agreed to help.
“I asked her, I said, ‘I need a huge favor, this dog is very special and I really want to save his life. I don't ask for a lot but I'm really begging you to help me save him,’” Cannup said.
Dashley immediately agreed to help.
“She asked if she could borrow our X-ray machine for a dog who had been shot with some arrows. She had to repeat herself a couple of times because I wasn't quite sure that I had heard correctly. Sure enough she had a very sweet little dog that had two arrows and him,” Dashley said.
Together the two operated on Charlie for about two hours to remove the arrows and repair the damage they had caused. Part of the arrow penetrated Charlie’s diaphragm and two parts of his liver, which needed to be repaired. The veterinarians also had to remove Charlie’s gallbladder completely.
“I've never removed and arrow from a dog before so that was new,” Dashley said. “We were happy to help, they need it.”
Charlie was in a cast for seven weeks for the arrow that went through his paw and is now doing physical therapy. He still has a limp and Cannup says that might not completely go away.
Cannup says she’s just grateful that the veterinary community comes together in times of need.
“Without them we could not have saved Charlie. We have a surgery room but we don't have the type of equipment that's necessary for a surgery that was necessary for his body,” Cannup said.
When Cannup called the Johnsen Animal Hospital, she wasn’t sure how she was going to pay for all the work Charlie needed to get done. But a GoFundMe page was created a short time later that helped cover the medical bills.
Cannup believes the injuries to Charlie were deliberate.
“It breaks your heart. It really questions the goodness of people. But then you have so many people coming together in the community and another veterinary clinic that without question says to bring him on over, it restores faith that for one bad act there's a lot of goodness out there in the world,” Cannup said.
Doctors also discovered that Charlie had heartworms and is getting ready to be treated for them. Cannup says Charlie is about 2 or 3 years old and is good with children, dogs and other cats. She says he’s very active and needs lots of affection.
He is being fostered by Cannup until he will be ready for adoption. Cannup says if all goes well, that should be in about two months.
KFOX14 reached out to officials at the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office to find out if the case is being investigated but we have not yet heard back from them.