Abandoned dog who survived being shot and hit by a car smiles at rescuers

The shelter staff named her Smiley
The Pender County Animal Shelter is caring for Smiley. (Source: Pender County Animal Shelter)
The Pender County Animal Shelter is caring for Smiley. (Source: Pender County Animal Shelter)(Pender County Animal Shelter)
Updated: Apr. 21, 2021 at 5:23 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Smiley, a dog that was apparently shot, hit by a car and abandoned in her lifetime, is now in the care of the Pender County Animal Shelter.

An Animal Control Officer rescued Smiley when they were called about the stray animal in a neighborhood, according to Jewell Horton, the shelter manager.

Horton said staffers named the dog Smiley because she smiled at the officer who rescued her and smiles at everyone who approaches her.

Veterinarians believe she was hit by a car approximately three weeks ago. X-rays also show the dog was shot at some point in her life. The veterinarian operated on Smiley, amputating one of her legs. Now, Smiley is in recovery.

Sorry if we were not up to par yesterday but THIS FACE CONSUMED OUR DAY! But how could she not! This was our critical...

Posted by Pender County Animal Shelter - Pender Pets on Wednesday, April 21, 2021

“She’s a great dog,” said Horton. “She wags her little tail when she sees you.”

The shelter moved its spay and neuter surgeries to accommodate the critical patient.

“She had a rough go, but is super bright and happy to see everyone today. We have to work on her emaciation and parasites but she is heartworm negative,” according to a post from the shelter on Facebook.

While the post states that Smiley’s reported owner is “on the run from the law on other matters,” Horton did not provide further details because the shelter is unsure if that person is the actual former owner of the dog.

Horton said she already reached out to rescue groups who will take Smiley in once she is out of the woods.

Horton said she hopes Smiley finds a family with a good couch for her to spend the rest of her days. Shelter staff estimate Smiley is anywhere between 8 and 10 years old.

Horton also urged neighbors who see an animal in distress to call the shelter.

“That’s a long time to hurt,” said Horton. “If you see something, say something. We have to be their voice.”

The shelter is raising money for Smiley’s care. Checks can be mailed to the shelter at 3280 New Savannah Rd, Burgaw, NC 28425. Donations are accepted over the phone at 910-259-1484.

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