Trax is our sweet little two year old boy who was recently the victim of a horrible act of violence based on Pit Bull prejudice. Trax was shot in the face by a forest ranger while camping. The following story is not for the faint of heart!
On the evening of Saturday March 9th, while camping at Apache Lake in Arizona, two forrest rangers approached our campsite. Trax of course began to bark. While Trax was not advancing, he was still holding his ground and barking at the rangers. Trax is well trained, however, before I even had the chance to call him to me, one of the rangers pulled his gun and fired at Trax. I remember the gunshot and then instant horrible screaming, like that of a human, but it was coming from my dog. I ran towards him but he was temporarily blind and deaf and running around the campsite screaming, bleeding, and bumping into trees, tents, rocks, everything. As I was trying to grab him he finally ran into one of the tents. At this point he had slowed down. He stumbled around the tent bleeding until finally he released his bowels and bladder and collapsed. Then I knelt over him, confused and scared I just held him tightly. At this point I realized that I had been screaming hysterically also since the gun went off. Although I tried to stop screaming his name over and over, I couldn't. I held him as he writhed in pain, blood gurgling from his throat. At this point we were both drenched in blood and I felt certain that he would bleed to death. I couldn't figure out exactly where the bullet had hit him. I tried to focus my attention to calming him down as he died in my arms. Large handfuls of slightly coagulated blood seeped from his head into my hands. While all of this was going on, the friend I was camping with had made arrangements to take him to an emergency vet hospital in Payson. Although I felt that Trax wouldn't live through the trip, he was still alive and fighting, so I was going to do anything and everything possible to save my baby boy. The pet hospital was about 60 miles away. Although I did my best to control his bleeding, he continued to bleed profusely. Every five minutes Trax would have either a convulsive attack as if he were having a seizure, or he would breathe out a long gurgling breath at the end of which it seemed like forever until he breathed in again. Every time this happened I thought that was it, that Trax was gone for good. However, at long last we made it to the hospital. I carried him in and asked the surgeon over and over if she could save him, trying to reassure myself that he would pull through.Trax went straight into emergency surgery. Trax's sister Mitzie was on hand for any blood transfusions that he would require. The next morning Trax was out of surgery and was actually up and about! He had been through one of the most horrific and traumatic things any dog could go through and came through like a champ! Through the vet that performed the surgery and several subsequent vet visits we found out that the bullet entered his upper jaw right next to his nose. The bullet continued through his upper jaw bone breaking bone and shattering teeth as it went. Most of the bullet finally lodged itself in the upper jaw bone. All of Trax's teeth on his upper left side are either missing, broken, or shattered witin his gums. Parts of his front gums are missing and damaged revealing parts of the jaw bone itself. The bullet also tore a hole between Trax's mouth and nasal cavity, which could lead to serious complications. Fragments of the bullet also found their way into Trax's lung and stomach. Trax can no longer eat food that needs to be chewed, nor can he play with any toys. His surgery and follow up visits has already cost us over $1500. The reconstructive surgery that will remove the bullet along with the pieces of broken teeth in his gums as well as repair the hole between his mouth and his nasal cavity will likely cost thousands more. We sincerely appreciate any help that anyone can provide since otherwise we would not be able to afford the surgury. Please give anything you can no matter how little. Shannon, Ben, Mitzie, and especially Trax thank you!!