While responding to a call regarding a domestic dispute late Wednesday afternoon, Chicago Police officers Steven Ommundson and Eugene Shields came across Sophie, a 6-year-old Shepherd/Lab mix.
Sophie had just been shot in the head, apparently by a man who also shot another man and then turned the gun on himself. The men died, but Sophie was still alive.
“It was kind of emotional because I grew up with dogs and just seeing a dog in that state, I mean, it’s a lot to take in,” Ommundson told WLS.
“I kept thinking to myself, how could someone do this to man’s best friend? You know, the dog didn’t do anything to anybody. It just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
The officers carried Sophie to their patrol car and rushed her to BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Skokie, Ill.
“She was extremely disoriented and distressed when she was brought in,” Dr. Lauren Nazarian, a veterinarian with the hospital, told the Chicago Tribune. “We didn’t know at that point whether it hit her brain or what her outcome would be.”
Both Dr. Nazarian and Dr. David Wilson, a veterinary surgeon, credit the quick actions of officers Ommundson and Shields for saving Sophie’s life. She arrived at the hospital less than 15 minutes after she had been shot.
The day after she received emergency treatment, Sophie was able to stand on her own and even walk with a little assistance.
“Under the circumstances, she is doing quite well,” Dr. Wilson said today in a news release. “We’re mostly concerned about the trauma she sustained to her nervous system. We’ll know more about the extent of her injuries in the coming days. But I’m really impressed with her resiliency.”
Sophie suffered damage to her skull and jaw. Fragments from the bullet are lodged in her neck and shoulders.
Dr. Nazarian told the Tribune it could have been a lot worse had the bullet hit Sophie’s brain.
Sophie is expected to need about another week of care at BluePearl, and then she will be available for adoption. The hospital has already been getting calls from potential pet parents.
The medical expenses for Sophie’s treatment could reach more than $10,000. The non-profit Frankie’s Friends has launched an online fundraiser to help pay her bill. As of late Friday afternoon, more than $5,000 has been raised. All funds raised above the goal will go toward other pets in need.
“Sophie has a long road to recovery,” Dr. Wilson said, “but so far, she’s off to a great start.”
Photos via BluePearl Veterinary Partners