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Dog shooting case concludes; Zeke continues recovery

“Zeke” the dog was spending this work day next to one of his favorite people in the world. Wakulla County Animal Control Officer (ACO) Bonnie Brinson nursed Zeke back to health with some help from Crawfordville veterinarians. Now he is enjoying life at home or visiting the Wakulla County Animal Shelter.

 

The Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office investigation into locating the suspect who shot the young dog in late May has concluded and closed with all leads exhausted. But caring members of the community continue to make sure that Zeke’s life rebounds from a rough start.

On May 30, Zeke was found injured on the side of Gay’s Drive in Crawfordville. A passing motorist noticed the bloodied puppy struggling for his life on the road. Animal Control Officers responded to the call and discovered the black and tan Shepherd mix with open wounds, covered in fleas, ticks and mange, emaciated with gunshot wounds and a rear right leg compound fracture and a fractured left shaft tibia.
Approximately one month later, Zeke had reconstructive surgery at Shepherd Spring Animal Hospital in Crawfordville and more medical evaluation and physical therapy at the University of Florida Small Animal Hospital in Gainesville.

During the weeks the followed, the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office opened a case investigation to attempt to locate the person who shot Zeke and left him to die. Detective Randy Phillips conducted scores of interviews and collected a folder full of documents as the investigation progressed. But in the end Detective Phillips exhausted all his leads.

Concerned citizens viewing the media coverage of the injured animal contributed $600 toward a reward for information leading to the arrest of the shooter. With leads exhausted the donors requested that the money they donated be given to Dr. Norm Griggs and Shepherd Springs Animal Hospital for their outstanding work in helping Zeke regain his mobility.
Dr. Griggs said he will use the monetary donation to assist other injured animals that ACO Brinson brings his way in the coming months. “She is inspiring to all of us,” said Dr. Griggs as he and fellow practice Veterinarian Dr. Julia Whited accepted the check.

Zeke continues to make progress toward a “normal” dog life. He happily bounds around on his rebuilt legs. He has amazing control of the back leg that suffered the most damage. He is active, runs, plays and swims in a pool during time spent with the Brinson family at home.

“We’re still hoping to adopt him,” said Bonnie Brinson. “He’s such a good dog.” The male dog is less than one year old and shows no ill will toward humans despite the attempt to kill him.
Veterinarians will continue to monitor Zeke’s legs and if he outgrows his damaged hind leg, the leg could be amputated. However, Brinson reports that the coverage of Zeke’s health has received a great deal of media attention and a Chicago company has offered to fit Zeke with a prosthetic leg if necessary.

Handling all of the life threatening animal calls can be “aggravating and depressing,” according to Brinson. “But at the same time it can be rewarding in the long run.”
Zeke was 16 pounds when he was rescued and now weighs 40 pounds. He was without food, water and medical attention when he was discovered. But thanks to the efforts of caring individuals in Wakulla and Leon counties he will survive and prosper.

“When I saw him struggling and walking only on his two front feet I knew he had the willpower to live,” said Brinson. “He is a wonderful dog and he will make someone a fantastic companion.”
“I cannot believe that someone was cruel enough to shoot a puppy like this,” said Sheriff Charlie Creel, a dog lover with two of his own at home. “It is tragic and disgusting. Hopefully someone will have the courage and conviction to talk and we can find out who did this.”

The closed case will be reopened if additional information is obtained.

 

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