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Lad - the dog who lost his lower jaw - to undergo reconstructive surgery after being shot repeatedly in the face and left to die

The nine-month-old collie's case has received an overwhelming response online. Some readers may find the images below disturbing

A young dog that lost its jaw after being shot repeatedly in the face is due to undergo reconstructive surgery following a huge outpouring of public support.

The nine-month-old collie, nicknamed Lad by rescue centre workers, was found abandoned in Daviess County, Kentucky with several gunshot wounds to his lower jaw.

The wounds were believed to be around six days old and severely infected, and on closer inspection Lad was found to be extremely underweight.

He was immediately transferred for emergency veterinary surgery, and had most of the infected lower jaw removed under general anaesthetic.

Over the past month, Lad has been nursed back to strength by vets working with The Arrow Fund, a charity which provides medical treatment for animals that are victims of torture, abuse or neglect.

Following a huge number of donations from concerned members of the public and with the help of Pilots N Paws, a charity providing transport for pets needing emergency medical care, Lad has now been brought to the University of California, Davis which has a leading teaching and research veterinary centre.

Vets at UC Davis said that after an initial examination Lad “appeared to be in good health”. They said they were hopeful they would be able to “help improve his quality of life by partially reconstructing his lower jaw, which has only three teeth on one side and two teeth on the other”.

Rebecca Eaves, president and founder of The Arrow Fund, accompanied Lad to UC Davis and said: “We want to thank all of you that have worked so hard trying to help us get Lad to UC Davis! The Arrow Fund is grateful for the love and support everyone has shown for Lad and our other babies.”

Lad was found emaciated and with horrific injuries to his lower jaw

Many of those supporting The Arrow Fund’s efforts have expressed anger at the person who could have shot the seemingly otherwise healthy and friendly young dog.

He was found with three distinct bullet wounds to his muzzle, some containing metal fragments and causing extensive damage to his teeth as well as the jaw that was removed.

A month later he is still being fed in part via a tube, which takes more than half an hour a time, though he has also started eating rolled-up balls of dog food by hand.

Lad, wearing one of his many bibs, on the plane to California

The Daviess County Sheriff's Office said it was investigating the shooting, and appealed for witnesses to come forward or call Crime Stoppers.

Police believe Lad was left on Grandview Road near Maceo on or near 7 February, and that he was transported there in the back of a pick-up truck.

On their official Facebook page, officers said charges were “forthcoming in the case” and that it was being reviewed by the Kentucky state’s attorney.

Donations to The Arrow Fund can be made at www.thearrowfund.org