A Black Labrador Retriever, named Gemma, with an arrow sticking out of the top of her head had reportedly been wandering in the North Branch area of Lapeer County, Michigan, for two days before she was found by a construction worker who called animal control, MLive reports.
Lapeer County Animal Control director Aimee Orn said the call was received on March 30 about 12:30 p.m. An officer was dispatched immediately to the North Branch location, about 16 miles from Goodland Township, to pick up the approximately 50-pound animal.
After bringing her to the animal control office, the dog was assessed and transported to a local veterinarian, Orn said.
Photos show that the blue and yellow arrow traveled downward through the top of Gemma’s head, above her left eye, narrowly missing her brain and optic nerve, reports the Detroit Free Press. Orn says that the tip of the arrow came through the roof of her mouth.
The arrow is estimated at somewhere between 15 and 18 inches long, according to Orn.
“Once it was determined that the arrow wasn't hitting her brain or her optic nerve, the veterinarian was able to pull it right out under heavy sedation," Orn told MLive.
Authorities received a tip from one of the dog owner's relatives, who heard rumors that the man had shot his dog. They talked with neighbors to identify the dog, the Free Press reports.
The owner of the 2-year-old Lab was identified as a 26-year-old resident of Goodland Township, who admitted to shooting the dog upon questioning by a Lapeer County Sheriff’s detective, according to Orn. His identity has not been released pending charges being filed, she said.
The owner reportedly told the officer that he drove the dog to a secluded area on Saturday night and shot her with a crossbow because she was acting aggressive with his other dogs, but, when he was getting something he had brought along to wrap Gemma in to bury her, she ran away. He said he just left the area then, the Detroit Free Press reports.
No other dog was found during a subsequent search of the owner’s property, Orn said.
Orn indicated that Lapeer County Animal Control would take all findings to the prosecutor for charges.
She confirmed that Gemma is remaining with animal control and recovering. She also said that the goal of the agency is for the dog not to go back to the owner, who has been given the option to voluntarily surrender her so that a search for a new home can begin promptly.
Orn said if the owner is willing to sign off on Gemma, she could be available for adoption. If not, she will be held because she is considered evidence.
Although dozens of prospective adopters have called about Gemma, Orn told the Detroit Free Press that the construction worker who found her had visited her at the shelter and that he or someone from his company was thinking about adopting the dog.
Orn indicated she felt it was only fair to the man who found Gemma to give him the first opportunity.
Anyone who doesn't want their dog has many options with several animal rescue groups in the area.
"There's always somebody to call,” Orn said.
Photo Credit: Provided, Lapeer County Animal Control