Houston puppy shot point blank in the head, now needs 4 surgeries

Ava, a seven-month-old puppy brought into Houston Pets Alive! from another shelter with a
severe gunshot wound to the head, inflicted at point blank range directly into her right eye, will need
extensive surgery and rehabilitation.

"She was in dire straights, but fortunately she made her way to us instead of being euthanized," says Miranda Hitchcock who is the acting Houston Pets Alive Shelter Director at 8620 Stella Link Road.

According to the shelter, Ava had been shot in the head a week after Hurricane Harvey.

"The bullet went through one of her eyes and is now resting sort of behind her cheek," says Hitchcock.

Unfortunately, the owner had no idea who had committed this act of cruelty, so the authorities were unable to  pursue or investigate the shooter. “As the world was pouring love and  support into our city after the flood, this puppy was shot point blank, in the face, and survived for weeks without care. She survived without pain meds and still kept on living. When she finally made it to the shelter, the  wounds were beginning to heal and she was actually wagging her tail,” says Andrea Birkelbach, Executive Director of Houston Pets Alive!.

Birkelbach added, “The right side of her face was literally shot to pieces, at what we now know from the surgeons, was point blank range - making it an intentional act. She will need a total of 4 surgeries on the same day to  correct the problems that still make it hard for her to eat, see, and  hear.”

"She had no idea that there was anything wrong with her," says Taylor Pugh who actually gave the 7-month-old pup her name. "She just thought she was like all the other dogs. I remember her coming in and she wanted to play with all the other dogs. She didn't even realize she had a head tilt. She just thinks she's normal."

An orthopedic specialist has recommended a extremely rare procedure that may require repeat surgeries. However, this level of highly specialized medical care comes with a cost - a minimum of $6,000. . “The fact that she survived is miraculous. We believe after everything she has been through  and survived without human help, she deserves a second chance to live her life to the fullest.” 

Houston Pets Alive has been able to place Ava in a home that took her to Wednesday's (11/15) surgeries. That home, according to Houston Pets Alive staff will likely become her forever home.

For more details about Ava's surgery, contact Houston Pets Alive!
Interested fosters can sign up here: https://www.houstonpetsalive.org/foster/
Donations can be made here: https://www.houstonpetsalive.org/donateform/