Shot dog's hospital bill tops $8,000

By Andy Jenks - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - With staples on her skin and pins beneath it, "Grace" the Australian Shepherd is known as the "bionic dog" in her Varina home.

"She's more herself every day. Of course, she's still on a lot of medicine, but she's not sedated," said Heather Sheffield, Grace's owner.

The 11-month-old puppy needed surgery to remove bullets, and still can't be allowed to walk for eight more weeks.

Police say on July 9, a neighbor fired a shotgun at Grace, when she and another dog got too close to the man's Osborne Turnpike property. Grace is improving since the attack eleven days ago...but it left her owners footing a hospital bill for approximately $8,300.

"We would've spent $100,000. No matter what the price was, we would've found a way to pay it no matter what," Sheffield said.

Since news of the attack first aired on NBC12 back on July 12, the story struck a chord among animal lovers. That includes Roxanne Campbell, who was so compelled she made a small donation to help a family she's never met.

"I just...I just wanted to reach out. I love people. I've never really met a stranger. And I just felt this was a situation that warranted my help," Campbell said.

Others also have come forward, giving an estimated $500. It won't make the pain go away completely, but it's a reminder that Grace and her family don't have to suffer alone.

"They love their animals, too, and they, no one wanted to see anything happen to her like this," Sheffield said.

The neighbor accused of shooting Grace, 79-year-old Mack D. Hudson, faces an August court date on a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty. He declined our request for an interview, but told police the puppy made him "fear for his life."

NBC12 has received several calls from viewers interested in helping defray the cost of Grace's care. If you'd like to make a donation by credit card, call the Veterinary Emergency Center in Carytown at (804) 353-9000.

Checks can also be made out to Veterinary Emergency Center and mailed to the attention of Andrea Spurlock, 3312 W. Cary St., Richmond, VA 23221. NOTE: The memo line of the check should mention "Grace Lewis".

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