Brave and brave as the legendary king, a little corgi named Arthur who was shot in the head but survived on his own for days is now very much alive thanks to his enormous will and the Main Line Animal Rescue of the Pennsylvania SPCA in Chester County.
On July 14, Arthur crawled under the fence at a family ranch in New Holland, Lancaster County. The property’s owners named Grace Herbert, co-founder and president of Finding Shelter, a volunteer rescue organization, which brought Arthur to PSPCA’s affiliated Main Line Animal Rescue in Phoenixville on July 18, said Herbert and Nicole Wilson, PSPCA’s director of Humane Law Enforcement and Shelter. operations.
When he arrived, Arthur had a large wound on his forehead, was infested with fleas, had ear infections and was also anemic.
Initially, it was thought that the gaping wound on Arthur’s head, which was covered with secretions and debris, may have been caused when he shuffled under the farm gate.
But when he was sedated and the wound cleaned, Alicia Royer, the PSPCA vet at Main Line Animal Rescue, discovered something far worse at the core of Arthur’s injury.
“As I was cutting and cleaning, I realized what this was and it felt a little hideous,” Royer said. “I felt like it was a shot based on the wound’s circular pattern and raised edges.”
X-rays confirmed that Arthur had been shot. Miraculously, the bullet missed his brain, but it shattered into an untold number of pieces, which remain in his jaw, Royer said.
Arthur was treated with antibiotics, painkillers, wound cleanses, and ointments to stick over the hole in his head, which had painfully expelled the air as he breathed.
“Luckily for him, it’s been a little over a week and it’s healing very, very well,” Royer said. “He’s such a happy man. On the second day after he woke up from the anesthesia, he let us wiggle his cute little ass. He’s a go-getter and a doer.”
Royer is hopeful that Arthur will make a full recovery, but the bullet fragments left in his head may need to be removed if they cause trouble later.
Today, Arthur is in rehab at Main Line Animal Rescue, feasting like royalty on chicken nuggets and eternal adoration from the staff. He is fully mobile and loves to run around the rescue squad yard.
Meanwhile, investigators from the PSPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement team have been hard at work trying to find out what happened to Arthur.
Wilson said investigators were able to track down Arthur’s owners, who live on a farm a few minutes’ drive from the farm where he was found. The owners, who have a small breeding facility on their property, were trying to convert 8-year-old Arthur — their only male — from a breeding dog to a farm dog running loose on the property, Wilson said.
“Unfortunately, as many dogs often will, he didn’t stay on his own property,” she said. “At that time, he was missing. The owners apparently contacted neighbors to ask if they’d seen him, but they couldn’t find him.”
Wilson said Arthur’s owners, who were “disturbed” when they learned what happened to him, have been ruled out as suspects in his shooting. Given his medical condition, the owners decided to turn Arthur over to the PSPCA, she said.
“They realize that the best situation right now is for him to find a forever home through our organization,” Wilson said.
Since Arthur was found relatively close to his home, Wilson said it’s most likely someone nearby shot him, although the reason why they did that remains unclear. But whoever did shoot Arthur intended to kill him, Wilson said.
“It was a close-range shot,” she said. “Based on the location of the injury, they had a rudimentary idea of the correct location to shoot a dog, but they didn’t do it accurately.”
Wilson said whether Arthur moved at the last minute, the gun slipped, or the person didn’t know which lane to take the shot, Arthur is lucky to have survived.
“All the stars lined up for this little guy,” she said.
Investigators are still working on the case, searching the area where Arthur was found, hoping to identify his shooter.
“Obviously there is someone out there who knows what happened and hopefully someone will contact us when they see the story,” Wilson said. “The nature of this case, this was not a dog attacking something and they stopped that dog in the middle of action. This injury shows that someone nearby is trying to kill this dog.”
Anyone with information is urged to call PSPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement team at 866-601-SPCA.
PSPCA accepts donations for Arthur’s healthcare and medical bills at pspca.org/arthur or via Venmo at @pspca. Anyone interested in adopting Arthur can contact the Main Line Animal Rescue at adopt@MLAR.org.