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Old dog earns new life, thanks to quick action by Roseville vet

By: Eileen Wilson, Press Tribune Correspondent
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If you’ve watched any news channel this week, likely you have heard about Old Lady, a 10-year-old shepherd Lab mix who was run down by a car early Saturday morning.

But that’s not the worst of it. Extensive X-rays show that the animal was riddled with BB pellets — the recipient of someone’s sick idea of target practice.

Old Lady’s life hasn’t been easy. A stray, some say feral, even, the dog accepted food, but always kept her distance.

Kristell Stout, a Sacramento resident, fell in love with the old dog from afar.

“She’s been around our shop for a few years. She has never barked or snapped at anyone, but she would never let anyone touch her,” she said.

Stout has been feeding Old Lady at the tire store where she worked, but she knew her opportunity to bond with the dog was coming to an end as she was laid off from her job this week.

Once Stout and fellow dog lover Gary Sawyer decided to capture the dog and take her home, their search was fruitless after trying to find the animal Friday night.

Fast forward to Saturday morning when Stout received a horrific phone call: The dog has been hit by a car — get over here.

Stout and Sawyer raced to the shop, picked the dog up, and then placed calls to several area vets.

“No one could take us right away, if at all,” Stout said. “The best offer we had was to come in after four hours.”

But then they made a call that made all the difference — a call to Johnson Ranch Veterinary Clinic in Roseville. Dr. Karen Johnson asked them to bring the dog in right away.

Hooked up to an intravenous drip and heavily sedated, it’s hard to get a feel for the dog’s sweet personality. Wrapped in various casts, the dog’s prognosis is good, but she has a long recovery ahead.

“We found that she had a broken humerus,” Johnson said. “Anytime an animal is hit by a car, we do a full-body X-ray. We have found at least 15 BB shots — just a spray throughout her body, and the shots aren’t new.”

Johnson said the dog is scheduled for surgery, and it’s the surgeon’s decision if the BBs can or should come out.

“None of the BBs seem to be puncturing any organs,” Johnson said.

Old Lady isn’t used to having lots of people around, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t a good patient.

“She’s been very friendly — she hasn’t snarled or tried to bite,” Johnson said. “It’s pretty rare to find a dog with this much pain tolerance. She didn’t even have anesthesia when we splinted her.”

Old Lady will possibly require a surgically implanted plate, and lots of rehabilitation.

Stout, who plans to take the dog home with her and start the bonding process as soon as possible, was inconsolable when the dog was injured, and even more so after discovering the abuse the dog has endured.

Concerned about mounting vet bills — the surgery alone will cost over $2,000 — both Johnson and Stout are thrilled to see donations arrive at the clinic daily.

“The video of the dog went viral, and we’ve had donations from Southern California and even from New York,” Johnson said. “I’m not sure what Old Lady’s recovery will look like — we have to get her healed a bit, first.”

As for Stout, all she wants is to get her new pet home.

“I honestly love animals, and I know that I can give her the most comfortable home possible in her final years of life,” Stout said.