SUGAR HILL - The employees of the Sugar Hill Animal Hospital got a disturbing surprise Tuesday morning.
Tied to the porch of the animal clinic was a female, mixed-breed dog with a plastic bag over her head.
Kennel technician Melissa Albinni was one of the people who first found the dog. "She was tied tightly to a bench on the porch so she couldn't really move," Albinni said. "She still had a collar on, and there was a bloody towel next to her."
Despite the gruesome scene, the dog was still alive but clearly in need of some help.
Sugar Hill Animal Hospital employees immediately took the dog in and tried to locate the source of the blood. The personnel shaved the dog's wounds and discovered she had been shot before being abandoned.
"We found two marks on its side and one on its face," Albinni said. "They appeared to be wounds from a BB gun."
Dr. Chris Thomas, a Sugar Hill veterinarian, was one of the people who worked on the abused animal.
"We found a BB pellet in one of the wounds in her side," Thomas said.
Luckily, the gunshots weren't severely damaging.
"She seemed to be OK," Thomas said. "She should have a smooth recovery."
Just to be sure there were no more wounds, the animal hospital employees shaved her and found no further signs of abuse under the dog's fur.
It was clear that this dog wasn't going anywhere just yet.
"We started calling her Sugar," Albinni said, "because she was found at the Sugar Hill Animal Hospital."
Apparently, Sugar lived up to the sweetness of her name. "She had a very good temperament," Thomas said.
Albinni also described Sugar's friendly attitude. "She has a great demeanor," she said. "There was absolutely no reason for this to happen to her."
Although Sugar seemed to be physically fine, her future remained dim.
Because of the holiday, Sugar Hill Animal Hospital's boarding facilities were completely full, and the hospital had no place to keep the abandoned dog. It seemed the only option was to call Animal Control and release Sugar to the pound.
That was until Elsie Laffond stepped in. Laffond is a groomer for Sugar Hill Animal Hospital, and she decided to take Sugar in until there was room available at the animal hospital.
"I'm only keeping her for the holiday," Laffond said, "I just hate seeing animals go to the pound, and I have a full basement for her to stay in."
Sugar is proving to be a very good guest at Laffond's house.
"She's very well-mannered and well-trained," Laffond said. "She even gets along with my cats and she keeps trying to play with them."
As for Sugar's abusers, they remain at large. But hopefully not for long.
"We're going to try to make a case and find whoever did this," Albinni said.
Sugar is due back at the Sugar Hill Animal Hospital Thursday for a check-up and to get her appropriate shots. Although the hospital is taking care of her for now, Sugar is still in need of a good home.
"Hopefully we will find her a loving home," Albinni said. "She deserves it."
For information on adopting Sugar or to give information regarding her abuse, call the Sugar Hill Animal Hospital at 770-271-7777.