Dog shot during police pursuit returned to good health

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Dog wounded in police chase nursed back to health. (KTRK)

Four months ago, almost to the day, a police foot chase of a suspected drug suspect, resulted in an arrest, and some collateral damage.

The fleeing suspect, according to HPD, ran behind a house, grabbed a dog tethered to its dog house, attempting to use it as a weapon against his pursuers. The dog was shot twice.

The dog has a name, Prada, and also a devoted owner. Robert Alexander explained at the time, "I raised her since she was a puppy, and this is a lot of pain."

Painful for him, because, like many people, he didn't have the thousands of dollars required to treat her at an emergency clinic. He felt helpless, and despite his attempts to treat her wounds, it was apparent she needed a vet.

Alexander went public with his story. Quanell X held a news conference. It wasn't that that got the attention of Pit Bull Rescue of Houston. It was Prada, with a wounded leg and foot, still wagging her tail, sitting next to her owner that moved the group's members.

"We saw the story," said Kathy Vazques. "We saw that Prada was his baby and she is really loved."

The rescue often works with Dr Laurie Noaker, who owns Vergi Animal Hospital on the Katy Freeway. "I saw the bond between Prada and Mr Alexander," she said. "It spoke to my heart."

Prada was struck twice by bullets. One shattered a bone in her foot. The other tore through muscle in her leg. Infection was starting to set in, and it was assumed, even by Vazques, Prada might lose a leg.

Instead, patience and care saved the leg. Constant wound care and physical rehabilitation resulted in an amazing recovery. Prada shows no limp, although she can't move a couple of toes.

Today, she left her kennel at Vergi for the last time, running through the clinic, kissing workers, and grabbing her favorite toy -- a stuffed dragon.

She made a dash for Alexander, and even Vazques, who made Prada part of her frequent rescue visitation rounds. "Everybody loves her. I love her," she said.

Prada left with some extras -- she was spayed during her stay. She has a microchip. She never had underlying health issues because Alexander was faithful about keeping her on heartworm prevention, keeping up with her vaccinations, and saving to buy her high quality dog food. He did that all while preparing to be a welding apprentice.

Prada went to a new house this afternoon. Alexander moved, looking for one with a tall fence, so no intruders could come into the yard. Prada will now be a house dog. A crate is now in the kitchen, and she is crate-trained.

"It feels like home again," he said slowly, to contain his emotion. "I'm overwhelmed." Understandable because four months ago, he was fighting to save the life of his dog, and he felt alone.

Today is different. He has more friends than he did in June, strangers until then, but willing to honor a bond between a man and his dog. "It's just amazing what good people can do," he said.

For information on the HOPE Fund at Vergi, and how to donate, go to www.vergi247.com.
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