Updated:WALTON COUNTY, Ga. —
Deputies in Walton County are searching for the person who shot a dog in the face.
Toby, a lab mix, survived thanks to two deputies who found the dog while on a nearby scene in Good Hope on Sunday.
[If you would like to help with Toby's long road to recovery, you can donate to the Bliss Animal Haven.]
They called another officer, whose wife works with an animal rescue group.
“He was almost ready to die. We took first aid that we’ve had over the years in training and brought him back,” said Deputy David Zajac.
Zajac and his wife stayed up all night with Toby to keep him alive.
“Because out of the gunshot, normally all the air would be breathed through the nostrils but he couldn't because all the air was coming through that gunshot hole and we had to keep that clean," Zajac said.
Toby underwent surgery to remove the bullet from his head and doctors say despite his injuries, he couldn’t be sweeter.
“He’s done nothing but wag his tail. He hasn’t tried to bite even when we’re obviously hurting him, touching his wound. He’s a really nice dog,” said Dr. Asha Wise with the Monroe Animal Care Hospital.
Doctors say he has many more surgeries ahead with months of rehab, possibly costing thousands of dollars.
“He had a big hole in his nose and was bleeding from both of his nostrils,” Wise said. “I don't know how anybody could shoot a really sweet dog in the face.”
Toby is also very skinny and malnourished. A woman in the neighborhood told police Toby was a stray she took in. She gave him up to a rescue group. Now, deputies are searching for the person responsible for nearly killing the gentle animal.
“The bullet went through the top of his nasal cavity, shot down, went back and forth and took his teeth out,” Zajac said.
The Walton County Sheriff said he is taking the crime very seriously.
“Our district attorney, our prosecutor, she is a huge animal lover, and I would hate for her to be prosecuting me for endangering an animal,” said Sheriff Joe Chapman.