The last thing Arizona native Andi Davis expected as she completed her morning hike was to find a new best friend, but that’s exactly what happened. As Ms. Davis reached the summit, she came across a horrific sight: A two-year-old, 40-pound black and white pit bull, shot and left for dead on the mountainside with no collar and no identification. He was barely breathing and didn’t have much time left to live.
Despite her fear of the breed, Davis scooped up the dog and carried him down the steep mile and a half trek, taking over an hour to reach the bottom with the critical canine in her arms.
The Davis family rushed the pit bull — now called Elijah — to the Arizona Humane Society’s Second Chance Animal Hospital. When the team of vets examined the motionless dog on their exam table, they found extensive damage, including a gaping wound on the left side of his chest. Upon X-raying the wound, the veterinary team found bullet fragments in Elijah’s shoulder and a bullet in the middle of his neck.
The team decided not to operate as the bullet and fragments were close to Elijah’s spine for fear of causing irreparable nerve damage, instead opting to give him pain medication and antibiotics. The vets say he may require surgery in the future as the healing continues and the full extent of his injuries becomes clearer.
As for Elijah? The Davis family has adopted him and is making sure he’s living in the lap of luxury with their other three dogs. Jessi Davis, the family’s 10-year-old daughter, has been by Elijah’s side nonstop since he entered their lives, keeping a close eye on his physical and emotional healing. Elijah’s rehabilitation continues to be monitored by the veterinary team at the Arizona Humane Society.
Photographs courtesy of the Arizona Humane Society.