UPDATE: Niko underwent surgery Thursday. “The surgery went well, but he’s not out of the woods yet,” Dr. Michael Kimura said. Niko will be closely monitored for six to eight weeks.
PREVIOUS STORY: TAMPA, FL (WFLA) – A dog from Hernando County that was hit by a car and shot twice will undergo surgery on Thursday.
Niko, a Catahoula leopard mix, was discovered on the side of the road just before Thanksgiving. Officials said someone driving by hit the dog; he was dragged several yards and left to die.
Hernando County animal officials took the dog to the SPCA Suncoast facility in New Port Richey. When doctors examined Niko, they learned he had a spinal fracture. Then, they were shocked to discover two bullets lodged in his body. It appears he was shot in a separate incident.
Veterinarians will spend several hours repairing the dog’s spine at the BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Tampa.
“He’ll probably never be 100-percent,” said medical technician Ashley Gandees. “We would always want this future adopters to kind of be cautious of any sort of extraneous activity, but this will give him the best quality of life.”
The surgery will allow Niko to walk again, vets said.
Officials are trying to find the dog’s owner to determine who shot him and why.