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West Valley Humane Society saves dog with face shotgun wound

Warning: This article includes graphic images of the dog's severe injuries.

CALDWELL, Idaho — Warning: This article includes graphic images.

The West Valley Humane Society is asking for donations after animal control brought a 1-year-old Belgian Malinois mix to the shelter with severe injuries. 

The dog had been shot in the face with a shotgun, according to the shelter.

Gauge is "lucky to be alive," according to West Valley. The dog came to the shelter with gashes on his ears, head, and body, barely able to move its body without discomfort. 

In a Facebook post Tuesday, West Valley said Gauge's "extreme swelling" and "broad and severe" injuries led the shelter team to immediately x-ray the young dog. The x-rays showed white specs, identifying the dog had been shot in the face. 

When Gauge arrived to the shelter, West Valley said he was unable to open one of his eyes. The blast from the shotgun destroyed the pup's eye and caused damage to a "significant amount of tissue."

West Valley Humane Society staff sedated Gauge, clipped and scrubbed his wounds and performed surgery to remove his injured eye. The shelter's staff also removed shotgun pellets from the dog's face. 

According to West Valley's Facebook post, shelter staff believes Gauge was shot because he may have been "worrying livestock." The shelter also said Gauge faced cruelty prior to the shotgun blast. 

"Someone, likely a previous owner, also tried to do at-home vet care and banded him with a rubber band in an attempt to neuter him," West Valley Humane Society said. "We had to perform a scrotal ablation quickly to remove the painful band, remove the necrotic tissue of his scrotum, and locate the other testicle buried in the inguinal region of his leg."

It is illegal to practice medicine without a veterinary license. However, it is not illegal to shoot a dog that may be "worrying" livestock in Idaho. 

Despite the trauma Gauge has faced, West Valley said the 1-year-old dog is on the path to recovery and ready to find a new home. Gauge is a "trooper," who was "very happy" to be cared for by shelter staff, according to West Valley. 

"Medical care for dogs like Gauge can be very expensive," West Valley Humane Society said. "With your help and support, we can save more lives, and make a big difference for dogs in need. Consider making a donation to help cover his cost of care and help future animals in need."

As of press time, $3,316 has been raised through 70 donations to the West Valley Humane Society. Individuals can donate to West Valley and read more about the incident by clicking here.

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