SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - It’s a long road to recovery for a dog that was shot in the face.
The pit bull is in the care of Manatee County Animal Services as the shelter works with law enforcement to person or people responsible for the shooting.
We want to warn you that this story contains some graphic images.
The dog’s name is Gabriele and even though he almost came face to face with death last Thursday, he is now in good spirits.
“It was really traumatized and still is from these really serious injuries," Hans Wohlegefahrt of the Manatee County Animal Services said. "All it takes is a little love and patients and the body starts to heal itself.”
Gabriele is recovering well after a bullet was shot through his face last Thursday in a Palmetto neighborhood.
“It entered into the dog’s cheek, went through his tongue and then left his muzzle which injured the dog’s jaw really badly,” Wohlegefahrt said.
Gabriele will likely need reconstructive surgery, costing thousands of dollars. “We’ve never had reconstructive surgery for a dog, we’ve never had a dog like this before,” Kassandra Pagel of the Friends of Manatee County Animal Services said.
Over the weekend Gabriele stayed at the Bradenton Veterinary Emergency for surgery. “They were able to tube feed him and by today he’s actually almost a different dog and by today he’s actually a different dog, I feel like we’re going to have a happy ending to this," Wohlegefahrt said.
Folks with animal services services say the ultimate happy ending would be for Gabriele to find a safe forever home.
“We most importantly want to give the dog enough time to heal and get better," Wohlegefahrt said. "We are working with local law enforcement and perhaps give this time to figure who did this to the dog”
It’s not known at this point if the dog had an owner. Whoever is responsible for the shooting could face animal cruelty charges.
Animal services workers say this is the second shooting involving a dog in week’s time.