PULLMAN, Wash. — Timely progress reports and photos of “Hope,” the
shaggy, black, mixed-breed dog whose Montana owner shot her between the
eyes and left her for dead, are now available via the Washington State
University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Web site.
The college’s Web site can be found at www.vetmed.wsu.edu.
“In the eleven years I’ve worked for the veterinary college, I’ve never seen
such a tremendous outpouring of public concern for a single animal,” said
Charlie Powell, public information officer for the WSU veterinary college. “The
calls and e-mails have been non-stop since Hope came into our care, so it’s
only reasonable to give people the timely information they want.”
The dog was intentionally shot by her owner, Andrew Davis Gage, 34, of
Belgrade, Mont. Gage pled guilty to misdemeanor animal cruelty on March 6.
He was fined $200, ordered to pay the dog’s local veterinary bill only, and had
his right to own a dog restricted by the court.
Hope was first found lying in a pool of her blood at the Four Corners fishing
access site on Feb. 26. She was taken in for emergency veterinary care locally
until she was transported to WSU’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital on March 11
after the court proceedings.
Hope underwent almost 6 hours of reconstructive surgery on March 14 to
close a large hole in the roof of her mouth where her throat begins. The bullet
wound had prevented her from swallowing food.
Hope continues to recuperate well and is currently drinking water on her own.
A feeding tube remains in place to keep swallowing stress off the surgical site.
WSU veterinary surgeon Dr. Jason Beck had considered anesthetizing Hope
again on Thursday to better examine the healing of the reconstruction, but
current progress is so good the procedure was deemed unnecessary.
The current care plan is to continue monitoring her closely until the feeding
tube can be removed. Due to extensive tissue damage around the bullet wound
in her throat, there is still a chance that additional surgery will be required to
ensure the tissue graft closing the wound heals.
Hope is expected to remain at the WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital for at
least the next seven to 10 days.
Following treatment and recovery, Gallatin County Animal Control authorities
will try to place Hope in a new home.