Veterinarians at the Charleston Animal Society were working Wednesday to save a hound dog puppy suffering from what they called a "massive" wound from a shotgun blast.
The male dog, about 7 months old, was rescued Feb. 12 near U.S. Highway 17 in the Ravenel area, society spokeswoman Kay Hyman said.
A resident who found the mixed-breed dog took him to a North Charleston emergency vet clinic.
Hyman said the society later notified animal control deputies from the Charleston County Sheriff's Office, but no information was immediately available about how the dog might have been shot.
Workers named the dog Chance.
His wound consisted of about 120 birdshot pellets in his front legs. Many of the pellets had buried into his bones.
The pup's left front leg became the most severely infected. He likely had been suffering the injury a few days before he was found, veterinarians determined.
Dr. Sarah Boyd, who directs the society's health and wellness program, said in a statement on Facebook that the wound appeared to have resulted from a close-range shotgun blast.
When a shotgun fires a shell containing birdshot, the pellets are concentrated as they leave the barrel. They spread out as they get farther away.
A close blast could then explain why so many pellets had lodged in Chance's body.
After treating the wound with honey, which helps remove infected tissue and aids in the healing process, for the past week, Boyd said she didn't know if the efforts would save his left leg.
Chance still isn't putting any pressure on the limb, she said.
"Now that he has put on some weight and is starting to get healthier, you can see that he is going to be a very handsome boy," Boyd said. "What would make someone so angry that they would maliciously attack such a sweet dog is beyond me."
Exactly how the dog suffered the wound remained unclear. Sheriff's Capt. Eric Watson on Wednesday could not provide any information about the case.
Hound dogs often are used for hunting.
Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.
In an X-ray image at the Charleston Animal Society, shotgun pellets pepper a 7-month-old hound dog that had suffered the wound from a close-range blast before it was found Feb. 12 near Ravenel. (KAY HYMAN/PROVIDED)×
Sandra Rabon of the Charleston Animal Society comforts a 7-month-old hound dog as veterinarian Dr. Sarah Boyd treats the male puppy for the wound it had suffered from a close-range shotgun blast before it was found Feb. 12 near Ravenel. (KAY HYMAN/PROVIDED)×