Gunshot Dog Healed, Leaving WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital

PULLMAN, Wash. — “Hope,” the shaggy, black, mixed-breed dog whose
Montana owner shot her between the eyes and left her for dead, is now healed
and will be returned to Bozeman for adoption. Donations and support for
Hope’s care have poured in from throughout North America and even Europe
to both WSU and the recovery fund in Bozeman.

Hope will be reunited with Gallatin County Animal Control Officer Pat Hess
between 3 and 5 p.m. Friday, in the lobby of WSU’s Veterinary Teaching
Hospital. After spending the night in Pullman, Hess will transport Hope back
to Montana where she is coordinating the adoption effort.

Hess and her husband will be the guests of another WSU veterinary college
donor, Carmel Travis, who has converted part of her home into lodging for
clients of the teaching hospital, fashioned after a Ronald McDonald House at
human hospitals. Travis’ story can be found at

Hope was anesthetized on Monday to more closely examine the surgical
reconstruction of the gunshot wound in her throat.

“She’s doing quite well actually,” said Jason Beck, clinical instructor of small
animal surgery at WSU. “The skin graft is well healed and the hole in her throat
is closed. She is eating and drinking on her own and should do well barring
any unforeseen complications.”

Hope is blind in her right eye as a result of being shot at point blank range. A
neurological test performed last week also determined she is now deaf as well.

The dog was intentionally shot by her owner, Andrew Davis Gage, 34, of
Belgrade, Mont. Gage pled guilty to misdemeanor animal cruelty on March 6.
He was fined $200, ordered to pay the dog’s local veterinary bill only, and had
his right to own a dog restricted by the court.

Hope was first found lying in a pool of her blood at the Four Corners fishing
access site on Feb. 26. She was taken in for emergency veterinary care locally
until she was transported to WSU’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital on March 11
after the court proceedings.

Hope underwent almost 6 hours of reconstructive surgery on March 14 to
close a large hole in the roof of her mouth where her throat begins. The bullet
wound had prevented her from swallowing food.