A La Pine-area dog that was shot in the face and faced possible euthanasia -- but was saved thanks to a chance encounter with a helpful stranger -- went home Saturday, his grateful owner said.
Santia Reed said in a Facebook posting that the vet told her Zeus "was shot at point-blank range," so they were unable to remove the fragments. He has a side of his jaw wired and a drain tube in his neck, to be removed next week.
For now, Reed said, Zeus "is on a diet of soft food, cannot be outside alone for 10-12 days, is on antibiotics and pain medicine" -- but "is so happy to be home."
She also said, "The man that helped save him even came by the vet's office today to see him" before the trip home.
The La Pine-area family was awakened by gunshots early Friday morning, only to find their yellow lab Zeus had been shot in the face.
"We heard gunshots about one or two in the morning. My boyfriend got up out of bed came outside and Zeus was covered in blood," Reed said Friday evening.
Zeus, in shock, ran away from the Santia and her boyfriend.
"We looked for him until 8 a.m., when we found him curled up on the porch," Reed said.
With the dog resting, she called animal control to see if they could have Zeus put down, because they couldn't afford his medical bills.
"We don't have the money to do anything," Reed said. "They were offering to put him down, to pay the expenses, if we could get him to the vet."
The dog was loaded into a car and they made the eight-mile drive to the La Pine Animal Hospital, when fate stepped in.
"There was this man," Reed said. "He asked if we could save him, and I said, 'No we don't have any money.' And he told the vet whatever he had to do, he would pay for it."
Dr. Lani Voyles of the La Pine Animal Hospital said, "It's kind of refreshing to see someone who is willing to help for a complete strange. It makes me feel better. We see a lot of the other side of it, so it's nice to see it."
Voyles says Zeus had fragments of bullet removed from his mouth, and part of his jaw wired.
"As we got further in, I called (the donor) back again and said, 'It's going to be this much more.' And he said, 'That's great, whatever they needed,'" said Voyles.
Resting comfortably, Zeus is expected to make a full recovery. And Reed is ever thankful for the man in the right place at the right time.
"I want to say, 'Thank you for saving the dog, making the kids happy and not having to go through that,'" Reed said through her tears.
If you know anything about the shooting case, call the Klamath County Sheriff's Office at 541-883-5130.