MIDVALE, Utah – A 13-year-old shepherd mix is recuperating at BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital in Midvale after he was stabbed seven times in the head and neck during a reported home invasion Friday.
The dog, named Wagner, will be treated by a surgeon for his wounds Monday, but is so far doing well and expected to recover, according to Dr. Jordan Scherk, a board-certified specialist in critical care and the hospital’s medical director.
“Fortunately, the top of the neck is pretty muscular,” Scherk said. “None of the wounds were close to any major organs or arteries.”
Wagner’s owner, Randy Price, said he found his dog lying in the garage of his Taylorsville home around 11:30 p.m. Friday. He was alerted to the situation by his German shepherd, 4-year-old Tria, who was barking insistently.
“I saw that he was down and he was in a pool of blood,” Price said. “I just freaked out. I’ve never seen one of my dogs hurt before.”
Wagner was rushed to BluePearl by West Valley Animal Control, Price said. As a 24-hour emergency veterinary and specialty hospital, BluePearl has the advanced equipment and board-certified veterinary specialists necessary to treat complex injuries like Wagner’s.
Price said there was no sign of the burglars, although they disabled the security systems at his home and left behind a pair of rubber gloves.
Price credits Tria with scaring away the burglars and protecting Wagner. He said he’s sickened by the thought of someone harming his beloved dog.
“Come and face me like a man,” Price said. “Don’t do something to my dog. People are really low sometimes.”
Price said he adopted Wagner from a shelter when he was just a year and a half old. He said Wagner is trained as a guard dog, although he’s been retired for the past couple of years. But some of that training must have kicked in when he saw someone attempting to break into the home, Price added.
“It’s really hard because I just keep envisioning the attack,” he said. “I don’t have kids, so my pets are my children. He’s a special dog – a real sweetheart.”