ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Veterinarians are calling the recovery of a 12-year-old black Labrador named Polo a miracle.
“It looked like a bomb had gone off,” veterinary dentist Dr. Don Beebe said.
According to the Greenwood Village Police Department, Polo was shot in the face Monday night after a burglar got inside her family’s home in the 4300 block of Alton Street.
She lay bleeding until her family came home Tuesday morning.
“You just felt so bad, this sweet black Labrador suffering injuries of this extent,” Beebe said.
Polo arrived at VRCC Emergency Hospital around 9 a.m. Tuesday.
“Got some initial X-rays of her head and we could see all the metal shrapnel throughout her mouth,” Beebe said.
The bullet shattered her jaw, fracturing it in two places. Several teeth were blown out and her tongue was nearly severed. She has already had two reconstruction surgeries.
“We had to go in and remove the tooth fragments, the metal shrapnel embedded deep within tissues,” Beebe said. “Her poor tongue was almost ripped in two, but there was enough left to salvage.”
Despite the severe injuries, the team said Polo has remained resilient.
“She surprisingly came in and was doing pretty well,” emergency vet Taylor White said. "When we got her on some pain medication, she was wagging her tail for everybody.”
She spent Wednesday recovering from her injuries and is expected to go home Thursday.
“Yeah, it is a miracle,” White said. “She’s lucky that it went just through her nose and into her mouth, and not near her brain or anywhere else where she could have long-term consequences.”
“The path of the bullet narrowly missed two major arteries in her jaw bone, and she easily could have bled out and died, and it’s amazing that she’s still with us,” Beebe said.
Police still have not caught the suspect. The same person is thought to have attempted to break in to another home Monday night in the 9100 block of East Stanford Place, less than a quarter-mile from Polo’s home.
Polo’s family set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for mounting vet bills.