(CHICAGO) Chicago Police Officer Steven Ommundson has seen his share of grisly crime scenes.
But last week he walked into something unimaginable: a murder-suicide in a Rogers Park apartment, and a Labrador-shepherd mix crying in pain, lying in a pool of blood, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.
Sophie had been shot in the head at close range by her owner during a domestic dispute in which the owner and another man died in an apartment in the 1500 block of West Chase, Ommundson said. A psychologist recommended that the owner get a dog to help him cope with some behavioral health issues.
“I’ve seen some nasty stuff in my time on the job, but just seeing that dog lying there. Who would do that? It’s upsetting,” said Ommundson, 31.
Ommundson and his partner sprung into action as soon as they saw signs of life from the dog.
“The dog was on the floor just laying there in a pool of blood, yelping and panting. I grabbed a blanket, wrapped the dog up and put it in the police car and drove it up to the animal hospital,” he said.
Veterinarians said the officers saved Sophie’s life.
Sophie is making a “miraculous recovery,” said David Wilson, a veterinary surgeon at BluePearl Specialty & Emergency Northfield Animal Hospital, where Sophie is recovering.
“She’s a lucky dog,” he said.
The dog was brought to BluePearl’s Skokie branch on June 3.
“She was very weak when she came in, and although we don’t think there was any direct damage to her brain, there was probably some swelling,” Wilson said.
The bullet entered behind Sophie’s right eye, passed through her neck and smashed into her shoulder, Wilson said.
Wilson said the dog’s recovery is remarkable, “considering that a lot of those really big vessels go through the head and neck.”
Initially, Sophie was unable to walk, but now her balance has improved and she can walk unassisted.
“She’s actually very happy. She’s up and walking around,” Wilson said. “She’s wagging her tail. She’s enjoying going outside.”
At this point, it doesn’t appear that Sophie will need surgery — just rest and relaxation, Wilson said.
Wilson said Sophie could be released as early as next week.
“We are working through the appropriate channels here in Chicago to start the adoption process,” Wilson said. “There’s been a huge amount of support from all over the country.”
Frankie’s Friends, a charitable pet organization, has raised more than $14,000 for Sophie’s recovery.
Ommundson, who has been a police officer for eight years, has two dogs — a golden retriever and a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever rescue dog. He said he wishes he could take care of Sophie, but he can’t because of his living situation and his schedule. He said he would want to devote more time to her.
“I would want the dog to have most of my attention to make sure she recovers and it’s an easy recovery,” Ommundson said. “I hope she goes to a good home because she deserves a good home after what she went through.”
— Chicago Sun-Times