HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - A dog in Huntsville that went more than a month without pain medication after being shot is doing much better now.
Major took a bullet on April 30th protecting his owner, Raven Williams, from armed robbers trying to break down her apartment door.
Raven couldn't afford medical treatment for Major. But animal lovers across North Alabama, and as far away as Texas and Oregon, stepped in to help.
On Wednesday, Raven took Major for his first appointment with Dr. Todd Mann at Linderman Animal Hospital. He immediately examined Major, took x-rays of the injury and prescribed anti-inflammatory medications.
Now there is good news and not-so-good news for the 11-year-old pitbull mix.
The good news is he is in much less pain. "They have been making him feel better," said Raven about the medication she has been giving Major. "He wasn't crying in his sleep last night."
Mann could see that Major's arm had started to heal on its own.
But the bad news is Mann could also see evidence of complications.
"The bone has stopped trying to heal," said Dr. Mann. "So what we have to do is go in there and re-stimulate that bone to heal back together.. probably put some bone graft material in there."
That means surgery. Raven set up a consultation with a surgeon in Decatur on Friday.
She knows Major has gotten this far only because of the generosity of animal lovers moved by Major's loyalty. And that's one thing that no pain or medicine could change.
"He seemed like a laid back dog," said Dr. Mann of Major. "A litttle protective of Mom, though... you know.. When we examined him, we had to get him away from Mom and if you mess with him too much, he'll let you know, but he's a good dog.. a joy to work with."
Raven puts it this way: "He's a hero.. he means.. he's like my family.. he's not just a dog... he's a hero."
At last check, people concerned and supportive of Major and his owner had contributed $1,800 towards his medical care.
Surgery will cost at least $2,000 more.
Raven is worried, but knows it's the only thing that will prevent him from losing his leg.
Read on to learn how you can help, if you can:
Major, an 11-year-old pit bull mix, is calm and docile, with no idea of the support and love swirling around him around the Tennessee Valley.
Tuesday morning, he was nuzzled up to his owner, Raven Williams, as she spoke with WHNT NEWS 19 about the generosity and compassion of strangers moved by Major's tale of heroism.
People who heard the story on Monday flooded Linderman Animal Hospital with calls of generosity, donating nearly $1,500 towards medical treatment for Major to help him recover from a gunshot wound.
Raven plans to have Major at the clinic early Wednesday morning for an exam, x-rays and then antibiotics to treat an infection. It's the result of a gunshot wound that Major suffered trying to protect his owner from two armed attackers who planned to rob her.
Monday night, after WHNT NEWS 19 aired Major's story, the Tennessee Valley responded, leaving dozens of messages on whnt.com and the WHNT Facebook page, commending Major for doing what most dog owners hope their companions will do for them -- protect them.
On April 30th, 2014, Raven Williams heard some terrifying words coming from outside her apartment, following pounding at her door: "This is a robbery!"
A faithful dog named Major followed his instincts when he heard the noise. He charged the culprits to protect his owner. And then he took a bullet.
More than one month later, Raven comforts, rubs and talks to her pit bull mix. She recalled what happened.
"By the time they came through the door and when he got up to bite them, they just shot him," she said. "[The bullet] went through his chest and it came out under here," she explained pointing to an area under his left arm.
She said six of her friends and family were visiting her playing video games.
They hid when at least two men dressed in black, with black masks and handguns tried to break down the door. But Major wasn't scared and didn't run away. He ran towards the threat.
"He had actually gotten outside the door, trying to attack the robbers, and they went ahead and shot him outside the door and we had to pull him back in," said Raven.
Since then, Major has been hurting.
"It's hard for him to get around, it's hard for him to go down the steps," said Raven.
She said the gunshot seems to have healed, but there's a new sore and she fears it's an infection.
She doesn't have the money for the treatment he needs.
"When I called the animal clinic, they were asking me for $284 just to see him for a gunshot wound and I just don't have it," she said looking at Major with tears in her eyes.
So, she has no choice but to ask for help, because she doesn't want to think about the alternative.
"For him to take a bullet for my family, I need for him to stay around. I just want help... just want somebody to help me," she said softly.
Raven added that her neighbors told police she saw two men fleeing in a white Ford Escape.
She said no one was arrested, but nothing was taken. Huntsville Police took statements from everyone there and even found the bullet that hit Major.
Those who want to contribute to his medical bills can stop by or call and donate over the phone:
4850 Cove Creek Drive, SE
Brownsboro, AL 35741
All donations go to an account set up at Linderman's Animal Hospital for Major. Anything left over will go to his long term care or we'll help the clinic set up an "Angel Account" for other animals that need medical help which their owners can't afford.
If you have more questions or comments, please email your name and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll pass on the communication to Raven and Major.