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Dog Left for Dead Makes Miraculous Recovery


After being muzzled with duct tape and shot in the head, a dog left for dead made a miraculous recovery. The lucky Golden Retriever managed to survive the ordeal and found a new family who promises to spoil him rotten.

A utility crew first discovered the wounded dog on the side of a highway near Mt. Saint Helens in Washington.

Utility crew finds Golden Retriever shot in the head

On Nov. 3, Cowlitz County public utility employees were returning from a maintenance operation along Spirit Lake Highway near Mt. Saint Helens. When crew members spotted the cream-colored dog on the side of the road, they knew they had to help.

“[He] was lying in a ditch,” Dylan Shulda, a member of the lineman crew told KGW 8. “At first we thought he was dead, it was just laying in the ditch, and as we got out of the vehicles to look at it, it picked its head up to look at us,” he explained.

The crew used a razor to cut the duct tape that muzzled the dog. They quickly drove him to the nearest town, over 45 minutes away.

At the Cowlitz County Humane Society in Longview, veterinarians worked to save the dog, who had been left for dead. The organization’s executive director, Darren Ullmann, said X-rays indicated the bullet went through the dog’s skull and lodged in his jaw. Ullmann further explained that it’s possible the dog was on the road for two or three days.

“He’s just the most gentle, sweetest dog ever. How somebody could do this is beyond us,” Ullmann said. “I don’t know if this was a retaliatory act against someone else, or if someone just didn’t want their dog anymore. He’s such a great dog. It’s unbelievable that this would happen.”

Trooper, the miracle dog

Kasey Williams, another member of the linemen crew who made the discovery, fostered the pup while he recovered.

“We’re just glad we can help in any way,” Williams said. “He deserves it.”

The lucky Golden Retriever, now named Trooper, returned to the highway at Mount St. Helens with reporters and members of the crew who saved his life. The happy-go-lucky pup played with toys and roamed in the grass, blissfully unaware of the location. To add to an even more heartwarming end to the story, Dylan Shulda decided to adopt Trooper.

“Our daughter moved away to college,” Shulda explained. “So, we’d been kicking around the idea of adopting another dog.”

With a smile, Shulda told reporters he was going to spoil Trooper and give him the life he deserves. An adoption ceremony will be held on Saturday, Nov. 18. According to Shulda, the Public Utility Department also plans to feature Trooper at the upcoming Christmas parade.

Ullmann invites those who have expressed interest in adopting Trooper to consider rescuing another dog in his honor. Like many shelters experiencing stressed facilities and overcrowding, the Cowlitz County Humane Society is also at capacity. Many dogs are available for adoption and are in need of loving homes.

The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident, requesting that anyone with information contact the department.


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