Humane Society says leg of dog attacked with shotgun may not need amputation after all

There may be hope for the hind leg of Hope the dog, who was injured last month after apparently being shot with a shotgun multiple times, Lawrence Humane Society director of development and marketing Meghan Scheibe said in a news release Friday.

Hope the dog shows off her post-surgery stitches on the left side of her face with a Lawrence Humane Society volunteer. The brindle pit bull mix was found shot July 30 along U.S. Highway 24 in Douglas County.

X-ray image of Hope the dog's torso riddled with shotgun pellets.

An X-ray image of Hope the dog's rear leg with shotgun pellets inside. This X-ray was taken after Lawrence Humane Society veterinarian Jennifer Stone had already removed dozens of shotgun pellets in surgery.

An X-ray image of Hope the dog's foot filled with shotgun pellets after a good Samaritan found the injured animal July 30 and took her for treatment at the Lawrence Humane Society.

Hope came to the shelter July 30 with a woman who said she’d found the dog injured, wandering along U.S. Highway 24 north of Lawrence. She had thought the 2-year-old brindle Pit Bull mix had been struck by a car, but Humane Society veterinarian Jennifer Stone soon found dozens of shotgun pellets in Hope’s skull, torso and rear legs.

At first, Stone thought that Hope’s back right leg would need to be amputated, but Scheibe said Friday that Stone and her medical team are now working to save it. Schiebe said that as of Friday Hope has undergone four surgeries and medical staff has been “flushing and re-bandaging her back (right) leg daily.”

Despite her trauma, Hope “has been in great spirits,” Scheibe said.

Stone said last month that judging from the appearance of Hope’s injuries, she had likely been shot days before she was discovered along U.S. 24. Stone said the dog likely would not have survived much longer had the good Samaritan not brought the dog in for treatment.

Clinton Parkway Animal Hospital donated X-rays of Hope’s injuries to the shelter last week. The images revealed that many pellets still remain inside the dog’s body, but Scheibe said “they do not pose a threat to Hope’s health.”

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has been working to find out whether Hope had an owner and what circumstances led to the dog’s shooting. So far, it remains unknown who shot the dog and why, or if Hope had an owner, sheriff’s office spokeswoman Sgt. Kristen Dymacek said Friday.

“There have been no new developments in the investigation,” Dymacek said. “We are still working closely with the Lawrence Humane Society on the investigation.”