Fort Worth Rottweiler found with head wound caused by short-range shotgun blast

Posted Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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A badly wounded Rottweiler was found by police wandering in an apartment complex in north Fort Worth after being shot in the face with a shotgun.

"The barrel was against her cheek when they pulled the trigger," said Dr. Tim Morton, a veterinarian who is treating the dog.

The animal was shot with a .410-gauge shotgun behind the right eye and has a much larger exit wound below the left bottom jaw, said Morton of Family PetCare on North Handley Drive.

"We actually recovered a plug from the shotgun shell," he said.

"It was still in the entrance wound."

Because of the dog's docile nature, Morton doubted that it had been shot in self-defense.

"This girl is so submissive, you just touch her and she just lays down," he told the Star-Telegram.

"When you first hear about a gunshot wound to the head, your mind thinks of all kinds of horror," Morton said. "She lived up to our worst nightmares; her head was twice the size that it should be because of swelling."

Morton said Sandy is 2 or 3 years old, and the condition of the wounds indicates she was likely shot early last week. He began treating the Rottweiler on Thursday.

"Infection is high on our concern list," the veterinarian said. "We are doing a lot to try and prevent that, both in her soft tissue and all of the exposed bone."

Luckily, her tongue and teeth remain intact, and everything vital appears to be in good shape, Morton said.

On Saturday, Sandy was recovering, and still wanting to be petted.

"She is doing wonderful. It's amazing the change that we've seen in the last 24 hours. ... She's even eating," Morton said.

"But she has a long road ahead of her and will need multiple additional surgeries."

Fort Worth police confirmed that the dog was picked up Wednesday at a Montecito Way complex near Interstate 820 and Marine Creek Parkway but gave no additional details. Animal control handed the dog over to Kapi Neely, a Fort Worth-based a Rottweiler rescue volunteer, who named her Sandy in honor of the 26 shooting victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn.

The motive behind the shooting is unknown.

"When I picked up Sandy from the shelter, I looked at her and thought, 'Who would do this to her?' The emotions went from being appalled to being sick to my stomach to being so sad," said Neely, who had been brought into the case by an Austin group, Katy's Promise Rottweiler Rescue of Austin.

Its founder, Toni Liguori, said that Sandy was in good physical shape other than her head wounds with a good weight and glossy coat.

"This is someone's dog, someone took good care of her," Liguori said. "I'm praying somebody is looking for her. She was so sweet and so trusting, she [must have] just stood there while someone put a gun to her head."

Liguori has set up an account for the dog. The group expects it will need to raise about $6,000 to cover last week's care and future surgical costs. For more information, go to

Susan McFarland, 817-390-7547

Twitter: @susanmcfarland1

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