Courtesy of the La Plata County Humane SocietyBow, a 3-month old puppy found in Shiprock, was turned over to the Farmington Animal Shelter in mid-February
Courtesy of the La Plata County Humane Society Bow, a 3-month old puppy found in Shiprock, was turned over to the Farmington Animal Shelter in mid-February after he was found show by a cross bow arrow. He is up for adoption today at the La Plata County Humane Society.
FARMINGTON — Meet "Bow," a three-month-old puppy with a black freckled muzzle and velvety brown ears. He is one of the sweetest looking puppies you ever will see, though the story of how he got his name is heartbreaking.

A couple had found him in mid-February in Shiprock with a crossbow arrow longer than his body sticking straight out of his hind leg.

Veterinarians at the Farmington Animal Shelter were the first medical personnel to see him. And today is his first day up for adoption at the La Plata County Humane Society in Durango, Colo.

"He was so scared," said Marcy Eckhardt, Farmington shelter spokeswoman.

The shelter performed surgery to remove the bow, but that was the easy part. The hard part was showing him that not all people are cruel, Eckhardt said.

A foster family took Bow in, slowly socializing him. They played ball with him, gave him chew toys and gave him lots of care.

"If you scratch his chest, his leg will pop right up. That's how we got him to come out of his shell," Eckhardt said. "He's got the most wonderful puppy personality."

Just recently he was taken to the La Plata County Humane Society because the Farmington Animal Shelter had too many animals. The La Plata staff believe today, though, will be Bow's last in a shelter.

"Once I heard about Bow, I knew it'd be an easy adoption," said Chris Nelson, La Plata County Humane Society spokesman.

Bow is believed to be a mix between a Jack Russell Terrier and an Australian Shepherd. He likely will grow to weigh about 50 pounds, if not more. His leg will most likely fully heal, and he has been neutered and given all his shots.

While still a little nervous, he is pleasantly quiet and should grow up to be a very happy dog given the right care.

"My guess is that he'd never seen a human before, and his first experience was getting shot," Nelson said.

Both the La Plata County Humane Society and the Farmington Animal Shelter are frequently overloaded with animals, as most of the area shelters are.

They see neglected and abused animals far more often than they would like.

"It bewilders me that someone would do something like this," Nelson said.

Although animal abuse is a crime in both New Mexico and Colorado, most of the time, no one is held accountable, officials said.

People who find abused, neglected or injured animals are encouraged to contact their local shelters.

While many of those animals are in such bad shape they cannot be helped, Bow will be fine.

"It's going to have a happy ending," Nelson said.

Jenny Kane may be reached at jkane@daily-times.com; 564-4636. Follow her on Twitter @Jenny_Kane

BOX

To adopt Bow or any other animal at the La Plata County Humane Society, call 970-259-2847.

To adopt an animal at the Farmington Animal Shelter, call 505- 599-1098.

To adopt an animal at the Aztec Animal Shelter, call 505-334-6819.