A dog has been hailed a hero after he was shot in the face while protecting his owner’s brother from robbers. A pit bull named Rufy, had to undergo a life-saving operation on Sunday at the Animal Welfare Society of South Africa in Phillipi after his lower jaw was fractured during the incident.
Rufy’s teeth were also shattered by the bullet.
The two-year-old dog had been accompanying the brother of his owner to the Nyanga KFC when two armed men demanded his cellphone and wallet.
After the owner’s brother handed over his possessions, Rufy jumped at one of the assailants, who then shot the dog at point-blank range.
Sibusiswe Jojo, Rufy’s owner, cried when she was notified of the incident.
Speaking to IOL, she said that she was saddened that this had happened to her dog. “If it wasn’t for Rufy, they would have shot my brother and it saddens me that they did this to my dog,” she said.
She said that her brother loves Rufy dearly, and that he often gives Rufy baths and makes sure that he is taken to the vet for check-ups.
Allan Perrins, who is a spokesperson for the Animal Welfare Society, said that extensive surgery had to take place to save Rufy’s life.
He adds that they regard Rufy as a hero.
“The bullet went through Rufy’s face, shattering several teeth and fracturing the bottom jaw. Rufy was rushed to the Animal Welfare Society and immediately admitted to surgery for a life-saving operation,” Perrins said.
The damage caused by the bullet was severe, and took senior veterinarians several hours to extract the bullet as well as pin the dog’s lower jaw. After the operation, Rufy was placed in intensive care and has received a positive, albeit guarded, prognosis.
The incident has been reported to police, and charges of animal cruelty will be added to the armed robbery docket.