Two weeks ago, a Good Samaritan found a female black Lab wandering around Waldoboro, Maine, and called Lincoln County Animal Shelter.
“She was really super friendly and a sweetheart when I picked her up from a resident’s home,” Animal Control Officer Laurice Ducharme told the Penobscot Bay Pilot.
She stayed for 10 days, with nobody coming forward to claim her. Then, fortunately, a couple turned up, hoping to adopt the dog. The Lab was brought to Boothbay Animal Hospital to be spayed — and to have the odd little bumps on her snout checked out.
“There were no signs of open wounds, no scars, nothing. She wasn’t in pain either,” said Ducharme.
Veterinarian Dr. Dean Domeyer inspected the dog.
“It wasn’t just another little lump. You could feel something that was hard and round, and it felt like a BB, so we decided to take an X-ray,” Domeyer told WCVB.com.
What it revealed shocked him: 83 BBs lodged in the dog’s face, back, and legs. Specifically, 39 in her neck and face, 17 in her hind quarters and back legs, and 27 in her body and front legs.
“There are BBs everywhere,” said Domeyer. “There is one pellet and multiple, multiple BBs.”
Here’s what that looks like:
Amazingly, the dog escaped relatively unharmed. Domeyer said she’s healthy and they’ll continue to monitor her, but because the BBs are brass, they don’t need to remove them unless they infect the skin.
“Right now, none of them pose any threat to her,” Domeyer said. “We have also not done any lead levels or blood cell count to make sure there is no issue, and that’s probably on the docket.”
Once the couple who wanted to adopt the dog learned about the BBs, they immediately made it official.
“She really has the best temperament for something that has gone through what she has, and she now has a wonderful man and his wife caring for her,” said Ducharme. “They came right in after the procedure and took her home.”
“I think she’s going to have a wonderful life,” Peter Blanton, Lady’s new owner, told WCVB.com. “She’s very lucky. I think I’m very lucky.”
The bonehead who shot the dog faces charges of animal cruelty, but the investigation hasn’t turned up any suspects yet. People with information are encouraged to call 207-832-4500 to reach Ducharme or contact the Waldoboro Police Department.