New Update: Dog Shot Protecting Huntsville Family Receives Medicine, Set for Surgery

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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 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 We'll pass on the communication to Raven and Major.


  • mamac

    Wow,Major is a HERO in my book..Wish I could just pay the bill in full.But I can’t and hope and pray that the Lord will heal him.Way to go MAJOR!!

    • News Is Crap

      “The Vet” is not to blame. Owning a pet is a privilege, not a right as so many seem to think. If you can’t afford the care, don’t have one until you can. The responsibility of pet care should not fall on the vet- they only “owe” life saving medicine.
      Does Walmart owe you groceries if you’re broke & hungry?
      Can you walk-in to any Dr when sick & get free exam, xray, & meds?
      Failure to care for this pet is not because of any vet…
      Why is it just now receiving attention & care? Maybe someone figured out how to gain some easy money?

      • Karinttt

        Just insert your name where the word “NEWS” is located. Well, it’s not a perfect world. There are children that need medical care, feeding, and good homes… and there are animals who need the same. If you can help, and want to help… God Bless you. If you don’t want to help, and you want to criticize and complain…. How about getting the Heck out of the way?

  • KatieM

    Would it be possible for the family to set up a gofundme account, or something similar to help with fundraising?

    • AD

      Better idea is to send money to vet to ensure it actually goes to the care of the animal. Obviously 6 weeks later, the owners weren’t too concerned…

  • Debbie

    What vet clinic do you want to use? I will send what I can to the clinic for his care. Maybe others will do the same. Any left over can be used to help another animal.

  • Linda Coulliette

    I would love to help!!! Please send me the name of the clinic and phone number, and I will contact them.

  • Barbara Mahan

    Yes my family wants to help. Send the name and address and numbr and we will add to whatever you have got pledged so far.

  • Jamie Martin

    Our pets are our children! I would love to help, please send me the info on the clinic and I will do what I can. Hang in there Major!!!

  • raven williams

    Hey everyone, I am the owner of Major. I really appreciate all the help ! This really means a lot to me to see others willing to help! Please just keep us in your prayers! I will be continuously updating you all with information on Major. Right now I’m trying to set up a bank account for donations for him. I’m not sure of the clinic I’ll be taking him to yet but I will keep everyone updated. Again thanks !!!!

  • Beth Jett

    Hello everyone! Thank you for clicking on and commenting!
    I have been in touch with Raven and suggested she set up an account for contributions for Major and to select the veterinarian she would like to have administer the treatment. She is overwhelmed at the kindness and gernosity from everyone. As soon as I get the information, I will pass it on!

    Thank you, again!
    Beth Jett

    • AD

      The dog deserves treatment. However, the story surrounding the injury is sketchy at best…
      What potential makes noise & announces through the door their intentions?
      And how were the “robbers” unable to get IN the door, yet the dog got OUT?
      And why is the owner just now seeking help instead of when the dog should have been bleeding with open gunshot wounds? If he’s having trouble moving now, it should have been much worse weeks ago…
      Way to report so that to tug on peoples heartstings so they miss the inconsistencies in you story!
      Whatever the truth is, people are great for donating but shame on you for suggesting anything other than donation to the vet to ensure the dog receives the care it should have had over a month ago.

      • Beth Jett

        Hi AD.. thanks for watching WHNT NEWS 19 and commenting. I want you to know that I checked and verified everything with Huntsville Police. They have the report on it and the statements taken by all on the scene that night. It is not the first time I have heard that a criminal states “this is a robbery”. They pounded on the door and when Raven’s friends answered the door, that’s when the dog rushed and pushed through and tried to attack them. The robbers shot him and ran off. Raven said she saw their black masks, clothing and handguns. There were about 6 or 7 people in the apartment at the time, including Raven. She guessed that if they had gotten in they would have robbed and maybe killed everyone there. That is why she considers Major a hero. As for why Raven didn’t seek treatment for Major — first, she tried to help him with home remedies. She is 20 years old and working two jobs. I don’t know how much she makes, but she did not have the money for the kind of treatment this injury requires. She called the clinic for help, but wasn’t as aggressive, perhaps, as someone older than age 20 might have been. In asking her a few questions, there were some things she didn’t do because she didn’t know to do them or didn’t think to do them. For example, contacting the media. It was her friend who contacted the media, through an email. That was after nearly a month afterwards. I don’t know that most people immediately think to call the media when they face a problem. Thank goodness her friend thought to call WHNT. As for pulling on heartstrings, the story itself does that. I just voiced what happened, but the facts spoke for themselves and touched people’s hearts. I’m glad they did. The dog deserved relief from pain. Raven clearly loves him, but didn’t know what to do. I hope that answers some questions you may have about the story. The bottom line is, the dog did what all dogowners hope our dogs will do — he protected her from some pieces of human debris who were trying to hurt her and her family. She’s 20 and working two jobs to make ends meet. Just like Major didn’t deserve to be shot, Raven didn’t deserve to be attacked. And thank goodness there are compassionate people in the world who recognize when someone needs help — whether on two legs or four — and comes to their aid. The Golden Rule comes to mind.. sure wish more people were familiar with it.

        Beth Jett

  • Beth Jett

    UPDATE: Raven Williams set an appointment for Major on Monday @ 12:30 @ Linderman Animal Hospital. 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

    Dr. Mike Johns will be treating Major.
    Thanks again for ur interest and support!

    Beth Jett

  • Nancy

    Beth, I just got off the phone with the vet and was told the calls are coming in. Thank you for sharing Major’s story with us! Please keep us updated on his progress.



  • Amber Buttleman

    I lost my baby Romeo During the tornados. I’m so glad your sweet one is alive. Please call Dr.Gailbreath in pulaski and explain your situation he will help and at a very reasonable price! I would love to donate please let me know how or set up a gofundme page!! God bless this sweet fur baby1

  • Linda Chism

    Aww sweetie.Dont you worry about your dog. We are going to raise the funds needed to take care of Major. What a hero!! Thank you whnt for doing the story!

  • Lilly Pegourie

    I live in KY and we have The Arrow Fund and it helps injured, abused and animals found in horrible situations and many times needs months of medical care. We have amazing givers who help.
    I am calling to help HERO because this is the ONE time our pets legally, morally and compassionately show their love for us.
    I am giving BECAUSE this town did not want to BLAME her dog, punish her , or worse put it to sleep because it did what it did. Thank you CITY of Huntsville.

  • Beth Jett

    Thank you all again for watching WHNT NEWS 19 and caring about this precious dog and his owner. If you need to reach me directly, please email me at Thank you. The kindness and generosity is heartwarming to see and read! Please stay tuned for updates and follow up reports on Major and his recovery!



  • Roxanne Gragg

    I work with Raven and I know how much she loves major. I adopted my pet from Lindermans so I know major is in good hands. love ya Raven

  • mamac

    I’am reading these comments and it brings tears to my eyes..I don’t even know these people or dog..And you all are so caring and willing to help they are STILL decent and good people out here this reaffirms to me that they are still good people. So, a BIG BIG thank you to all that is helping…By the way what did happen to the criminals ? Cause they came in on you all with guns KNOWING they where had intensions of hurting yall if not killing you…And I think when this goes to take the VICTIMS should go and ask the judge to make the robbers,criminals,trash,scum pay in full the vet bill. CAUSE IT IS THERE FAULT. And then when he makes them pay it the money that is paid now maybe can go to a animal shelter…Just an ideal.CAUSE IT IS THE SCUMS FAULT.

  • Mack

    such an amazing story! I’m in tears. Wish I were able to help. Thoughts and prayers going up for you all.

  • Al

    I can’t believe no vet would not let her make monthly payments….how could you let a dog stay in pain for so long? Not a caring pet owner in my mind.

  • Beth Jett

    Hi Al.. Actually that is the way veterinary care works. I have taken our family dogs to vets for years. Some procedures were $700. No veterinarian has ever offered me a “payment plan”. You either pay for it at once or you don’t get the treatment. I have pet insurance, but even that is a reimbursement procedure, after I pay in full up front. It doesn’t work like human medical care. There is no obligation to treat a pet if the owner cannot pay. Thanks for watching WHNT NEWS 19 and commenting.
    Beth Jett


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