FORT SMITH, Ark. – In late March, a 4-year-old breed mix named Hope was found tied to a tree in Arkansas with three bullet wounds.
"We found that she was shot three times in the face, so she had to get some emergency vet care," said Amber Neal, Hope Humane Society director.
Hope was taken to the Hope Humane Society in Fort Smith where Neal took her in while she healed. Scars on her face remain where the bullets entered. Hope will have to receive check-ups and possible work on her jaw and teeth in the future, but her health is back to normal.
"She's one amazing dog and she deserves the most amazing home," Neal said. "With me having such a busy work schedule, with all the other babies that I am trying to save, she needs to be somebody's constant companion and that would make her the happiest dog in the world."
On Wednesday, Hope was taken to the Fort Smith Nature Center where she met her forever owner, Park Ranger Levi Koch.
"She's adorable. She's very friendly. It seems like a perfect match," said Koch.
Koch is a park ranger with Arkansas State Parks. He said Hope's story was touching and he knew he wanted to care for her.
"I would like someone to travel with me and see some neat places, do a lot of hiking on outdoor adventures," he said.
Neal said it's always good to see a story of success like Hope's, but the reality of animals still sitting in shelters without a forever family is heartbreaking. She said it starts with being a responsible pet owner and making sure to spay or neuter.
"It's so important to treat your babies with love and respect and really watch them," Neal said. "There's so many at the shelter right now that need help, that need foster homes and if you can't foster, adopt. If you can't adopt, you can sponsor a fee, send in donations. Animals like Hope wouldn't survive without the donations from the community."