PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) — A woman’s dog disappeared more than two weeks ago at a campground near Mt. Hood.
But on Monday someone made a miraculous discovery that likely saved the dog’s life, as it was found without a leg.
This survival story all centers around Hatcher, an 8-year-old Siberian husky who is now recovering from surgery at the VCA Animal Hospital in southeast Portland.
It started out as a trip to Frog Lake Campground with her 15 pups, most of them are sled dogs.
“There were a lot of roads around there. I wasn’t familiar with the campground. There were a lot of people camping and driving by, so we were really concerned that maybe he had been taken,” said Shae Kosmalski.
But on the evening of Sept. 29, Hatcher was gone.
“I was freaking out. I was yelling all over the campground,” she said.
It was more than two weeks of agonizing searching.
She posted fliers and reached out on several missing animals Facebook pages.
She even took several days off from work to keep looking for her dog, who completes her sled dog pack.
But then she got a call.
“It was just holding my breath and then all of a sudden, I can’t even remember where I was I got the text that said, ‘I have him, he’s missing a leg,’” Kosmalski said.
A woman found Hatcher just a few miles from that campground and brought him to the VCA Animal Hospital off 138th Avenue and Southeast Stark Street.
Dr. Petra Ost is the surgeon who performed surgery on Hatcher.
She says it was likely a gunshot wound that severed Hatcher’s leg. They had to amputate his entire rear leg.
“I would think he probably would’ve died from this. I mean, the combination of the severity of the injury, and his rundown overall condition and his probable inability to do any hunting on three legs,” Dr. Ost said.
But she says this won’t slow down Hatcher.
“He’s a lightweight dog and he’s very athletic so he’s still going to outrun you and me easily,” she said.
She says the more athletic a dog is, the more likely it will be able to compensate when they have a missing limb.
Ost says Hatcher will likely be released from the animal hospital on Wednesday.
While the 8-year-old Siberian husky is making tremendous strides in his recovery, Kosmalski is processing everything that happened as she’s grateful to have her dog, but incensed over who would do this to Hatcher.
“Talk about the lowest of the low. You could see he had a red collar on, you could see that from 30 feet away. You knew what you were doing. You’re pathetic slime,” Kosmalski said.