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Oct 4, 2013 1:17 AM by Sam Salzwedel

Shelter treats bullet wounds on 2 dogs

TUCSON - An animal shelter has treated bullet wounds on 2 dogs in the past week.

The Humane Society of Southern Arizona received the first dog, Chance, on September 28. Goldy was brought in on October 3rd.

Both dogs lost a leg and are expected to survive.

Jennifer Wilcox is a staff veterinarian for HSSA who performed the surgeries. Bullet fragments spread throughout the wounds.

"It's messy. It's very messy, unfortunately," Wilcox said. "And it's very indiscriminate what it takes out."

Michael Santo runs an animal rescue called All-American Bully Buddies. He said he found Chance, in an area known as Dog Patch south of Tucson International Airport.

"Seeing something like that is heartbreaking," he said. "I don't care who you are or how tough you are when you go out there."

Dog Patch is a rural area where volunteers regularly feed domestic animals that roam around. Santo said both wounded dogs were found within a mile of each other.

"The rescuers who went out there don't know how it went down or what happened," Santo said. "I believe somebody needs to be held accountable. I don't think anybody in their right mind would not say that."

The Humane Society probably sees a couple gunshot wounds every year, according to Wilcox.

Shelter staff member, Samantha Esquivel, said everybody gets angry, but she wants people to see what is happening.

"We try and use that energy in a positive way to educate people," Esquivel said. "And to let them know, look for the signs of animal abuse. And if people are willing to donate any of their time, resources or money, they can definitely do that."

HSSA has a specific fund for animals with extreme medical needs, like gunshot wounds. The Second Chance fund helps animals that need expensive operations with difficult recoveries.

Esquivel is confident Goldy and Chance will find permanent homes.

"People see them and their heart goes out to them," Esquivel said. "And they want to get them into a home as fast as possible. And that's exactly what we want as well."

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