YORK — Not a single whimper or yelp came from Glenn Knights 10-month-old pit bull-boxer mix after it had been shot in the jaw and back and left to die.
It was Knight who couldnt stop shedding tears, he said.
On Wednesday, Matlock, one of three dogs Knight treats like my kids, escaped from the fence in Knights yard in York.
I went looking for him everywhere, he said.
When he pulled back into his driveway a little later, Knight found that Matlock made it back to the yard.
But as Matlock lay on its side, its back showed a gaping hole of exposed flesh where there should have been short brown fur. Its jaw had been hit by a bullet, and a piece of its tongue was missing.
It brought tears to my eyes, Knight said.
It amazes me that someone could shoot a dog like that and leave it.
But to staff members at White Rose Veterinary Clinic in York, it was more amazing that Matlock was still alive when Knight desperately rushed the dog into the office as they were about to close.
What I first saw was a poor little dog, said Sylvia Chappell, doctor of veterinary medicine and owner of White Rose Veterinary Clinic. Ive never seen a gunshot (in an animal) like that.
Chappell also saw a lot of muscle damage.
She was preparing to tell Knight that they would have to euthanize his dog when Matlock began to move.
It was enough to convince Chappell that Matlock could be saved.
The next hurdle was the $465 cost for Matlocks surgery.
I didnt have the money to keep the dog alive, Knight said. Ive been out of work. ... I just went back to work. I was going to have to put him down.
Clinic staff members and Operation CARE (Carolina Animal Rescue Effort) stepped in, pooled their resources and agreed to cover Knights bill.
They took money out of their own pockets to help me, Knight said. That was so fantastic; the way the economy is now, people dont do that. People dont take out the time to help you out any more.
Its not something the clinic will make common practice, staff members say, but Matlock was worth it.
Veterinarians dressed Matlocks wounds Wednesday. On Thursday, they prepped Matlock for a two-hour surgery that would leave stitches on the jaw and back and a protective funnel to wear temporarily to let the wounds heal.
By Friday, Matlock the miracle was enjoying hugs and posing for pictures. But hes not out of the woods yet.
Because the bullet blew out a part of his tongue and some of his teeth, Matlock is having trouble eating, which may cause difficulties during recovery, said Kathy Jackson, clinic practice manager. Theyre also watching for infections.
Neither Chappell nor Jackson understands why someone would shoot Matlock.
During exams, he was so gentle and wonderful, Chappell said. I could do his exams without sedating him.
If a dog is not aggressive or hurting someone, its disgusting to shoot a dog like that and leave it in the pain its in, Jackson said.
Matlock is one of three boxer pit -bull mix pups born to a mother that was hit by a car.
Knight took in the small litter.
Hes been a real good dog; hes not aggressive, Knight said. I just cant believe somebody would do that.
Want to donate?
To donate to Matlocks surgical bill, or any of the many animal rescues at the clinic, call (803) 818-5121 or find the clinic on Facebook.
Jonathan McFadden 803-329-4082