Dog shot south of Steamboat expected to survive

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— A Craig man’s 10-year-old black Labrador retriever was shot Saturday afternoon along Colorado Highway 131 just south of Steamboat Springs.

The Routt County Sheriff’s Office investigated the incident because it occurred outside city limits.

Undersheriff Ray Birch said the dog underwent surgery at Steamboat Veterinary Hospital and is expected to survive. X-rays showed what is thought to be five buckshot pellets from a shotgun in the dog’s chest.

"It was a local person who shot to protect their animals," Birch said.

Birch said the dog was shot sometime between 3:30 and 4 p.m. Saturday.

The Craig man told deputies he left his dog on the side of Colo. 131 about one mile from U.S. Highway 40 because his dog could not walk any more. The man and his dog were walking back from Steamboat after getting gas, which the man’s truck had run out of. After the man returned with his truck, he discovered the dog was bleeding from the chest.

Birch said the man drove to the west side of Steamboat and contacted a Steamboat Springs Police Department officer at a business at the corner of Elk River Road and Lincoln Avenue. Officer Sam Silva helped the man get the dog to Steamboat Veterinary Hospital next door, and the dog was treated by Dr. Nate Daughenbaugh.

A rural Steamboat Springs resident who lives in the area said the dog was coming after his turkeys and dog and was headed to his horse corral. It is legal for residents to protect their livestock. Criminal charges are not being pursued. The man's name has not been released.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com

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