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Artist, friends and rescues rally to save injured dog

The German shepherd Sarge survived a shot through his tongue and jaw. After recovering from surgery, he will be available for adoption. (Photo Courtesy of Barbara Osborne)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

On March 25, Carla DeAnn Overmier was heading out with friends for some target practice when they saw a wounded German shepherd.

“He was out there, at the old National Guard Armory where they used to do the surface-to-air missiles,” she said. “Obviously, the dog was not out there with his human. So I spent the whole afternoon not shooting and chased the dog for five hours with another rescue group, Friends of Roswell Animals. They do a lot of animal rescues through the pound.”

She started calling on her friends who work at rescues for ideas after the smart dog outwitted everyone trying to catch and help him.

“Rhonda Wilkes and her husband Dan came out and tried to help me get him, but he just kept running away,” Overmier said. They had to give up when the sun set.

After a restless night, Overmier was not able to keep the thought of the wounded dog out of her mind. “I went out there and I called more friends asking if anybody has a trap. Barbara Osborne showed up with a large dog trap and we put canned dog food in there and we waited about 45 minutes and he got trapped,” she said.

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Overmier said Osborne took the bleeding dog to an animal clinic. The vet’s diagnosis was that the dog was about 3 years old and that he had been shot through the tongue and jaw.

“He has about a 2-inch section of his jaw that is completely shattered,” Overmier said. “They are going to have to put in a metal plate. He has no teeth on that side, they are completely shattered.”

The clinic wasn’t able to do the operation, Overmier said.

“The vet there suggested that we euthanize him, but he’s got such a great temperament that nobody really wants to do that. So she (Osborne) got a second opinion on Monday — we just gave him pain meds and antibiotics. Janice Ensconatus, she took the dog in over the weekend, got him to eat, she made him slop to eat that he could swallow.

That second opinion led to surgery for the dog, which was scheduled for this past Wednesday. According to Overmier, the dog — named Sarge — was doing well after the operation and Ensconatus picked him up on Thursday.

The second opinion and referral were by Roswell veterinarian Dr. Craig Walker, Country Club Animal Hospital. The animal rescue organization From Forgotten To Forever Rescue sponsored the assessment and transport to the Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center of New Mexico in Albuquerque for the operation.

Walker estimated the procedures could cost anywhere from $2,903 to $3,640.

Overmier is an artist whose livelihood depended on the art fairs she visited throughout the year. When those were canceled, her income froze. To cover the cost, Overmier posted photos taken by Osborne on her Facebook page and the contact information to the clinic. As of press time, only $900 of the cost remained thanks to donations by Roswell citizens. The after-care for Sarge — once a week for 8 to 10 weeks — will be in the hands of Walker, Overmier said.

Information about assisting can be obtained from Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center of New Mexico, 505-884-3433; Country Club Animal Hospital, 575-623-9191; or visit fromforgottentoforever.com.

According to Overmier, Ensconatus will foster the dog — and after he is recovered and has been neutered, he will be up for adoption.

Christina Stock may be contacted at 622-7710, ext. 309, or at vision@rdrnews.com.

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