Chicago dog survives gunshot wound to head

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Saturday, June 6, 2015
Chicago dog survives gunshot wound to head
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A dog is making a miraculous recovery after she was shot in the head.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A dog is making a miraculous recovery after she was shot in the head in the city's Rogers Park neighborhood on Wednesday.

It's a story of survival for Sophie, a beautiful 6-year-old shepherd/lab mix that was caught in the crossfire during a domestic incident between two men in the 1500-block of Chase.

Both men died. When officers arrived on the scene they found the dog reaching out for help, despite suffering what should have been mortal wounds.

Fifteen minutes after the incident, at about 4:50 p.m. Wednesday, Sophie was brought by Chicago police officers to the Blue Pearl Veterinary Center in Skokie.

"They are part of the reason why she is still alive right now, yeah," said Dr. Lauren Nazarian.

Two days later, Dr. Nazarian is thrilled Sophie can move around, eat, even wag her tail.

Chicago Police Officer Steven Ommundson didn't stick around long that day. He was needed back at the crime scene.

"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 said.

With bullet fragments in her jaw and shoulder and a left flank still puffy from all the internal bleeding, Sophie has a long road to recovery. Still, the veterinarian says she's one lucky pooch.

"The biggest concern we have right now is the neurological trauma, it seems to affect her vestibular systems - her balance center - which is why when you see her walking she is wobbly, has the head tilt to the side, she is kind of spinning in circles a little bit," Dr. Nazarian said.

Now Frankie's Friends, an animal welfare charity, is trying to raise $10,000 for her care.

"I think given how she looks now, she may not be 100 percent normal, but will have a good prognosis for a good quality of life as a dog," Dr. Nazarian said.

Sophie will get a CT scan later this week to see if she has other injuries. Ommundson said that out of his eight years on the force, this was one of the hardest things to see.

"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," Ommundson said.

Currently, Sophie has no home. If someone doesn't come forward to take adopt her out of Blue Pearl Hospital, she will be turned over to animal control. Though, there have been numerous offers to take her in.