Dog shot in nose reunited with owner

Posted at 11:28 PM, Feb 18, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-19 06:19:22-05

Surry County, Va. - A dog was shot in the nose in Surry County with the bullet ending up near her spinal cord.

Little Leia was reunited with her owner, and Kristin Kessinger couldn't hold back the tears.

Leia, who ran away early Sunday morning and was shot later that night, is now back in her arms.

"I really didn't think she was going to make it," Kessinger said.

After the uncertainty and fear, the licks from Leia mean that much more. Kristin didn't know if she'd ever get this type of four-legged love again.

Now they're reunited and the worry is gone. It's been replaced by questions like who did this?

"My first reaction, honestly when I found out she was shot, was anger," Kessinger said. "Because who could shoot a dog?"

Leia was found by Jay Gunn, who works with the non-profit "Dogs Deserve Better."

When he first saw her, he didn't even know if Leia would survive the trip to the hospital.

"She was in shock, bleeding from the snout, as well as the nose," Gunn said. "And having a difficult time with congealing, blood congealing in her airways."

X-rays show pieces of the bullets that went through her head.

"The fact that she was found as far away as she was, even though she was not really far from the house is extremely unusual," Gunn said.

Leia is recovering well. She's on medication and because of it, the two-year-old isn't as hyper as she normally is, but the pup is in good spirits.

Dog out of surgery after being shot in nose

She's having some issues breathing that will be monitored over the next couple of days and Leia has a scar on her nose from where the bullet went through.

"She's got stories to tell all her other doggie friends," Gunn said.