TIPTON, Iowa — A little dog named Victor has a new home and the promise of a better future, thanks to the help of some Friends.
On Nov. 1, Victor, a 5-pound Chihuahua, was found on the porch of a house in the small town of Sunbury with an arrow embedded in his shoulder.
The little dog was shaking but could still move around, said Cedar County Sheriff’s Deputy Jay Johnson, who was called to the scene by the homeowners. Johnson called Friends of the Animals, a nonprofit organization in Tipton that promotes humane principles toward animals.
Dee Shotwell, vice president of Friends, sent Johnson to veterinarian Michael O’Donnell at Tipton Veterinary Services, and met them there.
“I wanted to be there to see what we were dealing with,” said Shotwell, who learned that Victor had been shot with a crossbow.
That helped him avoid more serious injuries, said Shotwell, as crossbow arrows are shorter.
The arrow had traveled two inches into Victor’s right shoulder but missed his arteries and heart.
“Victor was so scared,” recalled Shotwell. “And Chihuahuas have those fawn-like eyes. They look at you and wrap themselves around your heart and you’re at their beck and call.”
O’Donnell determined that the wound was several hours old, said Shotwell, because the blood on the arrow was still moist and red.
He gave the dog pain medication and eased the arrow out. The removal was a success, and O’Donnell prescribed antibiotics and pain medication.
Johnson said people who lived in the area where Victor was found told him the dog was a stray that had been wandering in the neighborhood for several weeks.
Victor was brought back to the Friends of the Animal shelter to heal, and the staff named him Victor — short for victorious.
Victor’s physical wounds have healed. A woman in Cedar County officially adopted him on Dec. 28.
Johnson said he believes the dog was shot by a child.
A family who lives near where Victor was found has several children, said Johnson, and there is a crossbow in the home. Charges are not being filed in the case.
According to Iowa code, it is legal to shoot stray dogs that aren’t tagged or collared and may pose a threat, said Johnson. He isn’t sure what sort of charges could be brought against an adult who would shoot a dog in the same manner.
Shotwell, who began volunteering and working at the shelter three years ago, has seen her fair share of injured, sick and starving animals.
“I love my job, but it rips my heart out to see any animal like that,” said Shotwell, 68, who, with her husband, Jim, has five dogs that live in their home.
The Shotwells also provide a home for retired hunting dogs in a converted barn and dog run on their acreage.
But for all her dealings with dogs, Shotwell said Victor’s is the most unforgettable.
“I’ve never seen anything like that before, and I never want to see it again,” she said.
Who would ever shoot a cute dog like that, anyway? I'm glad he has a new home and someone who will give him the love and attention he'll enjoy!