Vets band together to save wounded Great Pyrenees

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Dr. Erick Egger, the senior small animal orthopedic surgeon at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, shows X-ray images of the jawbone of Max, an injured Great Pyrenees. Veterinarians think the dog was shot and left for dead in the Routt National Forest.

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Max, an injured Great Pyrenees, rests at the Pet Kare Clinic in Steamboat Springs on Friday afternoon following surgery to repair his broken jaw.

— The past four weeks of Maxwell's life have all the ingredients of a great tale of survival.

Left for dead with a gunshot wound to the mouth, the 10-month-old Great Pyrenees wandered for almost a month in the Routt National Forest before he was found Sunday by a group of hunters outside of Hayden.

"How that dog didn't starve to death with that wound is amazing to me," said Dr. Kimberly Radway of the Pet Kare Clinic in Steamboat Springs. Radway has helped treat Max since he was dropped off Sunday.

"Someone shot the dog in the face, and because of shock he most likely passed out," she said. "They probably thought he was dead, but it missed all the vital organs. It just broke the jaw. I can't believe he survived it."

Radway said Max had a collar with a rabies tag, which she used to track down his veterinarian in Wyoming.

"We found out the name and phone number of the owner through the vet and we tried contacting the owner," she said. "We've had no calls back. We were told through the vet clinic that the family were sheep herders and that this dog was a herding dog."

Despite the recent attention given to Max's breed after five Great Pyrenees attacked and killed another dog near Dumont Lake on Labor Day, Radway noted Max has not acted aggressive toward other dogs.

"He's so sweet and loving," she said. "The hunters said that when they found him in the woods he just ran right up to them."

On Thursday, Max took his next step toward recovery as Dr. Erick Eggers, the senior small animal orthopedist at Colorado State University, donated his time to repair and rebuild the dog's jaw.

"I came up to see some new patients to do some surgery on clients, and then this pup was here," said Eggers, who brought three of his students for his monthly trip to Steamboat.

"There was a lot of infection around the wound - it's a feat of survival," he said. "He's a tough dog, and the fact it got to this point is amazing."

Eggers removed pieces of fractured bone and bullet fragments from Max's jaw and stabilized the area with screws. Approximately 1.5 inches of bone were removed, but Eggers said he expects a full recovery as the bone regenerates.

The $3,000 medical bill was taken care of courtesy of the Northwest Colorado Animal Assistance League and the Fredmeyer Fund.

To make Max feel more comfortable after his hardships, Pet Kare staff set a makeshift suite for the dog in the storeroom of the clinic.

Snoozing away and doped up on painkillers, Max already has endeared himself to one of Egger's students, who said she'd be a foster parent until a home is found.

"What we tend to try to do is get a dog to a foster home or adopted home straight from the clinic to make sure the dog will have an absolute defined next step," Radway said. "This dog is super sweet with people and animals."

For more information about how to donate to the Fredmeyer Fund or to adopt Max, call the Pet Kare Clinic at 879-5273.

- To reach Mike McCollum, call 871-4208

or e-mail mmccollum@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

colobob 7 years, 3 months ago

pitiful act! The person that did this should be ashamed of themself!

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animalfarm 7 years, 3 months ago

I will never cease to be amazed by the cruelty of the human race.

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colobob 7 years, 3 months ago

Kudos to the hunters that rescued the animal. As a sportsman myself its nice to see hunters potrayed in a positve sense. Great job guys!

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id04sp 7 years, 3 months ago

You've got to wonder what scenario caused this dog to be wounded. There are many ways to imagine a person shooting this dog in self defense -- particularly the location of the wound. How do we know this GP and others had not just killed the dog of the person who fired the shot? One dog alone acts differently from several dogs in a pack.

I am glad this dog survived. The shame is that the person who shot him did not administer the coup de grace (the blow of grace) to make sure it was not suffering.

They are beautiful, wonderful dogs. They are also dangerous, as is any dog, under the right circumstances. The instinct to protect may only kick in when there IS something to protect.

I have stared down the barrel of a gun and shot an aggressive animal. It feels terrible afterwards, but sometimes it's a choice to shoot or be bitten. Aggressive feral animal, firearm, risk of rabies. What would you do? Hope it goes away and does not hurt your family and animals?

When a normally timid animial does not retreat from a human, or a dog does not retreat from the sound of a warning shot, you don't have much of a choice. (My incident did not happen in Colorado; it was in a state with a risk of rabies.)

I used to have a 100+ pound retriever. He was the gentlest dog you'd ever want to meet. He actually brought home a kitten he found in the woods, and raised it. I also saw him go after a porcupine, and saw him respond to another aggressive canine about his size. It was scary. I guess my point is that you'd have to be there to really know what happened. A hundred + pounds of dog with bared teeth coming at a dog bite victim is entirely different from a wounded pet ten days later.

I know someone who, potentially, could have been in exactly that situation with this dog. I wouldn't blame them a bit. I also couldn't blame them for running away as fast as possible in a complete state of panic from the confrontation.

People move to this state to enjoy the outdoors. Some of them carry guns for protection from animals in the woods. The herders need to adapt too. Bring enough shepherds to ensure that one of them is always with the animals, and that the dogs are under control in the National Forest, or simply stay out. If that's too expensive to make herding sheep profitable, then you've got your answer.

There is plenty of open BLM land outside the RNF where people simply don't care to go. Put the sheep there. You've got all the land west of Craig to the Wasatch range to graze sheep, and it's not that hard or expensive to go the extra 50 to 75 miles. Also; no bears on the grasslands where the antelope live. Isn't that a better place for sheep? Heck, the entire State of Nevada is pretty much open and nobody would complain.

Recent events prove that people and GPs are having violent encounters. If sheep are the common denominator, then it's the sheep that need to be elsewhere -- like on private land.

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colobob 7 years, 3 months ago

Hmmm, Would appreciate it if you could shed any more light on this incident.

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animalfarm 7 years, 3 months ago

Another thing all of us animal lovers can do is visit www.theanimalrescuesite.com each day and click on the food for animals button. It doesn't cost you anything, but their advertisers pay according to the number of visitors to the site. One click buys 0.6 bowls of food for rescued animals.

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colobob 7 years, 3 months ago

a lot of different scenerios possible here and none of them good. It would be interesting to know more of the particulars ie., 1.) the area that the dog was herding 2.) were there powder burns or powder residue present on the dogs fur? 3.) if discernible, what was the calibre of the round? This would help determine whether it came from a handgun or a rifle. Regardless it's a shame that this animal had to suffer for this long. One thing is certain, there will be plenty of comments on this one from all arenas. This incident won't do ANYONE any good! Unless this is the result of an actual attack and I'm not talking about growling or showing teeth, there's no real excuse for it.

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Hmmm 7 years, 3 months ago

My friend works for the Sheriff's Office (Routt County) and I know a little about this story. It's wonderful that the vets are helping this nice dog. I also think a thank you should go to the deputies at the Sheriff's Office, one of whom called the emergency number at the Pet Kare Clinic and then brought the dog over to meet the vet and see what could be done.

It's great that the hunters brought the dog in and then the deputies got the ball rolling by making the needed phone calls. Great job all the way around by everyone involved.

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Hmmm 7 years, 3 months ago

colobob- All I know is that the dog was hanging around the hunters camp, so they brought it to Steamboat. The deputies from the Sheriff's Office took over and one called the emergency number for Pet Kare to see about getting the dog help. Well, the rest is turning out to be a very heart warming story. As much as I would like to see it happen, the chances of ever finding out who shot the dog are zero.

Again, kudos and thank you to all those involved (especially the vets who are donating their time).

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dundalk 7 years, 3 months ago

With all the bad stories swirling over the recent attack on Rabbit Ears, seeing this type of cruelty is just astounding. These beautiful animals do a great job, are loyal and yes, protective. Anyone who can stare down the barrel of a gun, look into the graceful eyes of these dogs and pull the trigger doesn't deserve an ounce of compassion.

Want to help more? Visit www.Best Friends.org to find out how you can make a difference in thousands of animals lives.

To the hunters who saved this dog's life - THANK YOU.

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1234 7 years, 3 months ago

at one time a lot of people hated these dogs,which are only trained to do there job! now that one of them gets hurt a lot of people reach out to them! well now a person has to ask them self--- self should i be mad at the gp. for killing a dog that was not on a leash,and only doing its job(that we as humans has made it do?) or should we take into account that ,these dogs (gp) are a tool of our sheep farmers and that is how they are used,no more no less. it is a bad thing that a person had there dog killed from the gp's, but like i said this dog is a tool,and the sheep farmers use it as such. any sheep farmer would not want this t happen to anyones's personal pet!!! so i think we need to look back and really think about this issue. the dogs themselve really know any thing else except what they are trained to do , so we need to see that and deal with it! i am also glad to hear some hunters took this dog in! that is a good note for our hunting program.

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1234 7 years, 3 months ago

GOOD JOB HUNTERS !!WE NEED MORE OF YOU GUYS OUT THERE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

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animalfarm 7 years, 3 months ago

1234, please proof your comment before you post, it's a pain in the a$$ to read. And if you read the article, the owner of this dog has been called, they have yet to return the phone calls. Tells me that this sheepherding family could care less about their "canine employee", it is, I'm sure, just another piece of livestock to them...why pay a large vet bill when we can just throw another pup out there.

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colobob 7 years, 3 months ago

id04sp good day to you, While I agree with some of what you have posted I disagree with some of it as well. I think that there is room here for everyone, sheep included. My sticking point is more one of control. In this instance the herding dogs are being left to their own devices and I feel that is a mistake. I believe that herders need to be present to maintain control of their dogs especially during daylight hours. If they cannot be at hand someone should be there to relieve them. As I stated in an earlier post regarding the Dumont incident, the dog is in fact a tool much like the chainsaw is a tool. You wouldn't start your saw while kids were playing nearby and then leave it running while you went inside to eat dinner. Just an opinion but one that I think makes a lot of sense. Control is definately or should be the key issue here.

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1234 7 years, 3 months ago

hey animalfart,oops shuold have pooped it, b-4 i sent this. so iam not the brain guy or gal that you are,but i ll bet you got my message! and maybe not, because i am on your side ,some what. and i did read the article,and this is just not for the owner of the dog but for the dogs out ther in general. maybe the owners are out doing some work and making a living in the world other than sitting here and bit----- about how someone who can PROOF. even that it may have been a pain in the a-- to read YOU still read it. if you think this dog only meant to them as there livestock,then it meant more to them than you know! because there livestock is there life,and so are the animals that protect them. i believe you are the pain in the a--.

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1234 7 years, 3 months ago

sorry to all that HAVE , had to read my comments!!! i am not the wiz kid i wanted to be,and for that ,its my bad. but to animalfart, if you see my 1234 on there ,then dont you have to read it , if all you can do is talk about how i PROOF. then go some where else. as far as the rest, i will take your comments, if being in good grammwer is what iit takes to bee on hrer,well then i should get off.

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colobob 7 years, 3 months ago

Hang in there 1234, Everyone has a right to voice their opinion. My grammer isn't always correct and I have been out of school for so long that I have to look up words in the dictionary on a regular basis. In most instances when I write a post I usually go back and re-read what I have written. Often I find that I have jumbled or mispelled words in my haste to respond quickly to a comment, especially when I feel very strongly about a subject. I keep a dictionary right by my computer as a self help guide. I do this for the most part to improve myself. I learn everyday of my life or a least I try to. I personally think it's more important to be comfortable with one's self first. They say that you can't teach an old dog new tricks but in fact nothing could be further from the truth. I know this because not only am I a dog trainer (pointing dogs) but I am also an old dog. Keep the posts coming, I'll read them. The more someone does something the better they become by doing it. No offense intended here, I hope none was taken. I may not always agree with an opinion (opinions are like.............., everyones got one) but I always listen before voicing my own. Have a great day and never quit! My folks didn't raise a quitter and I doubt that yours did either, hang in there!

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colohunter 7 years, 3 months ago

My name is Dave, My father Ron and Brothers John and Randy were the "hunters" responsible for rescuing "Max" although we had named him Snuff. We were very pleased to see that Snuff had been taken care of and want to thank every one involved in helping Snuff survive. We are considering adopting Snuff (Max) we understand a donation would be appropriate but we have no extra money, but we would supply a wonderful home for Snuff. We came acrossed Snuff while hunting, he warmed up to us right away. when he followed us back to camp. We feed him food we had available, after eating Snuff spent the next several hours watching over the camp protecting us from unwanted animals well into the night. He is a great dog we really enjoyed having him around.

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colohunter 7 years, 3 months ago

My name is Dave, My father Ron and Brothers John and Randy were the "hunters" responsible for rescuing "Max" although we had named him Snuff. We were very pleased to see that Snuff had been taken care of and want to thank every one involved in helping Snuff survive. We are considering adopting Snuff (Max) we understand a donation would be appropriate but we have no extra money, but we would supply a wonderful home for Snuff. We came acrossed Snuff while hunting, he warmed up to us right away. When he followed us back to camp. we feed him food we had available, after eating Snuff spent the next several hours watching over the camp protecting us from unwanted animals well into the night. He is a great dog we really enjoyed having him around.

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colobob 7 years, 3 months ago

Great job Dave to you and your family for putting hunters in such a positive light. We need more people like you guys in our fraternity. More often than not we (hunters) get a bad rap because of a few bad apples in our ranks. You have done hunters everywhere proud. Hope it works out for all. Sounds to me that this pooch will have found himself a good home if he ends up with you and your family. Job well done!

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JQPUBLIC 7 years, 3 months ago

"There are many ways to imagine a person shooting this dog in self defense".... IF that were the case, why didn't the shooter call the authorities? I wouldn't think twice about shooting an animal that was posing an immediate threat but you can be assured that the police or DOW (depending on the type animal) would have been called.

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