BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – When the puppy arrived Thursday from a small shelter in the rural scrublands outside Tallahassee, his face was peppered with birdshot.
No one was sure exactly how or why it happened, Susan Naylor told News 6 partner Florida Today.
“We were on Facebook, and saw this post from a rescue friend of ours over in Jefferson County,” said Naylor, public relations director for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Brevard County. “He had been found, and had been shot in the face.”
On Monday, the year-old hound mix shelter workers have named “Benny” bounded merrily through the grass at the SPCA of Brevard’s Titusville adoption center. But for the stitches and the wide plastic cone, you’d never guess he recently saw the business end of a shotgun.
Now Benny is rehabbing at the adoption center on Sisson Road, waiting on the final word from his doctor before he goes home with a family the shelter arranged to foster him through the holidays, Naylor said.
He is one of hundreds of pets the group is looking to place temporarily through the new year as part of its annual “Home for the Holidays” program, now in its fourth year.
The program allows families to take home any approved cat or dog for up to two weeks — “or a little bit longer, if you’re maybe interested in keeping them,” Naylor said — between now and Jan. 4.
“Sometimes, people want to make it permanent, and, other times, it’s just for the holidays, and that’s totally fine, too,” Naylor said. “We just want to get dogs and cats out of the shelter during Christmas and let them spend time being surrounded by love and with a family.”
Benny’s injuries were “shocking,” but thankfully not life-threatening, Naylor said.
“There’s pellets all throughout his entire face. You can see some near his eyes too (in the X-ray), so there’s a chance he might lose that one eye,” she said.
Due to the size of its staff and funding — thanks largely to the generosity of local donors, Naylor said — SPCA of Brevard is known for taking on difficult medical cases from smaller shelters less equipped to handle them, she said.
Vets are still figuring out whether to remove the remaining pellets, and whether they can save his eye, Naylor said.
But the spunky pup is “happy and healthy,” she said, and will soon be ready to find his new forever home here in Brevard.
“He’s a very sweet boy, and he’s going to do really, really well,” Naylor said.
The SPCA of Brevard is accepting donations toward Benny’s medical care at spcabrevard.com/donate. Any contributions over the cost of his care will go toward helping other animals in need, Naylor said.
If you’d like to foster a cat or dog through the “Home for the Holidays” program, drop by the SPCA of Brevard adoption center, 6035 Sisson Road in Titusville. Pets available for fostering are viewable at spcabrevard.com.
Contact Rogers at 321-242-3717 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @EricRogersFT.