A dog found with a gunshot wound to the face is recovering, but the search continues for whoever fired the bullet as well as the dog's owners.

Boss (Stafford Veterinary Hospital via Facebook)

When found by a young couple in New Gretna, the pit bull was covered in blood and limping along the side of a road.

Thinking it had been hit by a car, the couple brought the dog to the Stafford Veterinary Hospital, where staffers found a bullet lodged in the animal's throat.

"It went through his muzzle, pretty much ricocheted and destroyed a number of molars on the top and bottom right side of his mouth, which I had to remove a number of teeth and tooth fragments," said Dr. Michael Pride at Stafford Veterinary.

The dog, named Boss by the hospital's employees, also had to spend several days being cared for and watched closely.

"We had him on IV fluids because he was not eating for at least five days -- he was throwing up some brown liquid multiple times every day," said Pride, who notes the dog is now eating, barking and more active.

Ilya Hemlin, Townsquare Media NJ

While Pride said it's not uncommon to see small BBs in animals, he personally has never seen an instance of a dog with a gunshot wound. However, he said other vets have witnessed it.

The ASPCA and local police are investigating not only how the bullet ended up hitting Boss, but also who his owners are.

Pride said while it is possible a dog could be shot by accident, he doesn't understand how that could have been the case with Boss.

"The direction of this bullet looked like it was coming down from above and towards him," Pride said. "Any accidental shooting from a distance, I don't believe, would have an angle like that."

The Stafford Veterinary Hospital has absorbed the cost of operation and treatments for Boss, estimated to run to roughly $5,000. However, with more procedures very likely, an account has been set up in Boss's name for donations. Contact the hospital for details.

Pride noted how generous people have already been.

"People keep pouring in with generous gifts," he said. "So anything that happens to be in excess once the procedures are done, we do plan to donate back to the ASPCA or the humane society."

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