Ziggy the dog found with 20 inch crossbow bolt through head 'after being shot at close range'

RSPCA says Staffordshire bull terrier would have been in 'complete agony'

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The Independent Online

The RSPCA is appealing for information after a dog was discovered alive in a remote piece of woodland with a 20 inch crossbow bolt through his head.

Shocking pictures released by the charity show Ziggy, a two-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier, with the bolt firmly embedded into his skull.

It is not known how long he was left in the woodlands for. The RSPCA says Ziggy would have been in “complete agony” for the whole time the weapon was sticking out of his head.

The animal was spotted by passersby in a remote piece of woodland near Wansford, Peterborough on Wednesday morning and taken to vets, who immediately performed emergency surgery on Ziggy to remove the bolt.

Fortunately, the crossbow had deflected off the skull, “miraculously” missing his brain, ear capsule and eyes by millimetres.


RSPCA inspector Justin Stubbs said whoever shot the animal must have done so intentionally, at “very close range”. He described the animal’s ordeal as “heart-breaking”.

“I think they must have been aiming at the back of the head and Ziggy must have moved at just the right distance right at the last minute,” he said.

“I don’t know whether they then took him deep into the wood and dumped him, or had already taken him into the wood and so just left him there, injured.

An x-ray showing the bolt through Ziggy's head

“What we are quite sure about is that poor Ziggy was probably roaming about in the middle of nowhere for a couple of days with this bolt stuck in his head. He would have been terrified, and in complete agony.

“It really broke my heart this one. What really got me was the way Ziggy sat there, with that bolt through his head, wagging his tail at me in such a good natured way - asking for a bit of a fuss.”


He said the next few days will determine whether Ziggy will recover fully from the attack.

“It is miraculous that the bolt missed all his organs, but he’s not out of the woods yet. With these kind of nasty wounds infection can be very dangerous and the next couple of days will be key to seeing how he recovers.”