A 5-year-old Lab Mix named Sarge offered an unexpected discovery during his routine neuter procedure. His uncertain past was made clear while on the surgical table, revealing a previous injury that no one saw coming.
Sarge was placed in the care of the Humane Society of Tampa Bay earlier this year. In transferring from a rescue in Northern Florida, the shelter staff did not have much information about his past.
Sarge’s wagging tail and lovable personality won over each caretaker that crossed his path, making what came next even more shocking.
When performing his pre-surgical exam, the shelter surgeon felt a mass on his abdomen that was thought to be a fatty abscess of some sort. Thinking it was a benign tumor that could easily be removed, they planned to take care of it during his neuter procedure. Once the veterinarian opened the mass to explore the area, he discovered something heartbreaking; the mass contained a large bullet.
“He was going in for a routine neuter, and the doctors noticed a soft mass, and we expected it to be a fatty, benign abscess of some sort. So we said it would be no issue, that we could remove it during his neuter.” – Miranda Cantrell, Foster Coordinator
There is no way to know how long the bullet had been in Sarge’s abdomen, but it proves that Sarge may have had a run-in with a cruel human at some point. The bullet was much bigger than a standard pellet or BB, making it the largest caliber bullet any of the staff had seen in a dog’s skin.
“To think about what has possibly happened to him, and he’s so sweet and has so much courage. He’s so forgiving to people if he really was injured or somebody did this to him.” – Miranda Cantrell, Foster Coordinator
The bullet was easily removed during surgery, and Sarge made a full recovery from his procedure. This resilient pup has not only pushed through unimaginable obstacles, but refuses to let his past harden him.
Sarge’s story does have a happy ending, as he found his forever home soon after this ordeal. We are so happy that Sarge found a loving family to call his own, and hope he can finally heal from his painful past!