Oh the tales a dog could tell, if only she could talk...
Orffs Corner RoadWaldoboro Maine 04572United States
WALDOBORO — Little did Waldoboro Animal Control Officer Laurice Ducharme know, but the stray dog she picked up in the Orffs Corner Road area of her town more than a week ago was carrying a secret – in fact she was carrying more than 83 small secrets throughout her body.
The young black Labrador with the super friendly demeanor, "despite what she has been through," sustained more than 83 BB shots to the body -- 39 to her neck and face, 17 to her hind quarters and back legs, and 27 to the body and front legs. That's 83 painful shots, and 83 small zinc or copper coated steel pellets now residing under her skin. No area of the young dog's body was spared the searing pain she likely endured when the steel pellets were shot into her.
A BB gun typically has a shooting velocity of between 280-feet per second for toy guns, and 300- to 450-feet per second for "adult" weapons. Some commercial airguns can fire beyond 550-feet per second. A pellet with a velocity of 150-feet per second has skin-piercing capability, while a pellet fired at a velocity of 200-feet per second or higher can fracture bone.
The dog, now named Lady by the couple who have since adopted her, was picked up as a stray by Ducharme a little more than 10 days ago.
"She was really super friendly and a sweetheart when I picked her up from a resident's home after she showed up there," said Durcharme. "She's about one year old, a black Lab cross, and she's a sweetheart."
Ducharme said the dog was held at Lincoln County Animal Shelter in Edgecomb for 10 days, awaiting someone to claim her or report her missing. When nobody did, Ducharme said a couple expressed their interest in adopting her and on Tuesday, she was brought to Boothbay Animal Hospital to be spayed.
"That's when they noticed bumps, which were healed over and could have been caused by flea bites," said Ducharme. "There were no signs of open wounds, no scars, nothing. She wasn't in pain either."
A question was asked about a possible infection being the cause, so before they prescribed an antibiotic, the veterinarian took X-rays.
"That's when they found the poor thing had all the bb shots under her skin," said Ducharme. "There was no pain anymore, and all were superficial, healed over just under the skin."
Ducharme said she doesn't know if the BB shots came all at once, or over a period of time. But she does know she and others at the shelter, where she also works while serving as Waldoboro's ACO, want to find the person who injured the dog.
"She really has the best temperament for something that has gone through what she has, and she now has a wonderful man and his wife caring for her," said Ducharme. She said that when the couple learned yesterday, along with everyone else, that the dog had suffered so needlessly at the hands of another human being, they immediately moved to adopt her June 11.
"They came right in after the procedure and took her home," said Ducharme.
After discovering the healed-over injuries, Durcharme said an investigation was opened and she is currently trying to find the previous owner, or ascertain if the dog looks familiar to anyone in the area or if anyone knows what happened to her. The dog was found with no collar or microchip.
The person responsible for shooting Lady at least 83 times with a BB gun could be facing charges of animal cruelty, said Ducharme.
Anyone with information about the dog can call 832-4500 to reach Ducharme.
Editorial Director Holly S. Edwards can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 207-706-6655.