Abandoned puppy shot by 18 BBs makes ‘remarkable’ recovery

A 6-week-old puppy is recovering at a Rock Hill animal hospital after someone shot it nearly two-dozen times with a BB gun.

Rock Hill Police responded to an apartment complex on Springdale Road about 5 p.m. Sunday, according to a report. A utility worker told officers he saw 15 to 20 juveniles playing with a black puppy.

A few minutes later, the worker went to check on the puppy and saw it was “bleeding heavily” from multiple wounds, police said.

Officers spoke with the juveniles, who told them “someone who stays in the apartment complex had stabbed the puppy multiple times and shot the puppy with a BB gun,” the report states. They did not know who did it.

An officer put the puppy in a box in his patrol car and tried to comfort it. Investigators later learned the puppy had been abandoned by an unknown owner.

The puppy was taken to Ebenezer Animal Hospital, where veterinarians found 18 BB pellets lodged in the dog’s skin and muscle and a number of intestinal parasites, according to co-owner April Splawn. They determined the lab-mix puppy is about 6 weeks old.

“He seems like he’s gonna pull through,” Splawn said. “He’s a strong little boy. He’s really, really sweet.”

Splawn said employees at the hospital named the puppy Brody.

Dr. Jay Hreiz said the dog was not stabbed, and that someone likely mistook the BB wounds for stab wounds. Doctors stabilized Brody with fluids and pain medication, and he is able to move around, eat and use the bathroom.

Hreiz said that in his eight years of practicing, Brody’s injuries are some of the worst he’s seen in an abused animal.

“You don’t really know how to respond to something like that,” Hreiz said. “There’s just no excuse for torturing a small, defenseless animal like that.”

Because of the dog’s young age, it’s too risky to put him under anesthesia to remove the BBs, Hreiz said. The BBs are not lodged in any vital organs, so it’s possible they may not need to be removed.

“He’s really young, so he has a remarkable ability to heal at his age,” he said. “Brody may be able to live a healthy normal life with all those BBs in him.”

Rock Hill Police Capt. Mark Bollinger said no arrests have been made, and investigators have had no luck in locating Brody’s owner. The case has been forwarded to detectives.

None of the juveniles outside the apartment complex Sunday admitted to harming the puppy, and Bollinger said the case remains under investigation.

Hreiz said he is surprised not only by how well Brody is recovering, but how trusting he is of people. Once the puppy is fully recovered, he will be put up for adoption through Project Safe Pet, a local non-profit.

“He’s going to be a very good companion for somebody,” Hreiz said. “He’s so far showing a remarkable recovery given what’s going on with him.”

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