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Dog that was shot, hit with a hammer and left to die goes home with foster family

MANCHESTER, Mo. - There is a new milestone in the recovery of a dog that was shot, then hit with a hammer and left to die.

The 2-year old yellow lab mix named Trooper continues to surprise everyone as Veterinary Specialty Services and Missouri K-9 Friends work to slowly nurse him back to health.

According to court documents, 57-year-old Jason E. Hampton of Farmington shot Trooper before hitting him with a hammer and leaving him in a ditch to die.

“He has defeated all odds. He is a miracle dog,” Mandy Ryan, president of Missouri K-9 Friends told KTVI. “Trooper stayed in that ditch for a few weeks where he was paralyzed and couldn’t move."

Hampton was arrested and released on bond. He now faces felony charges.

There was certainly no shortage of demand from families eager to take Trooper home as he began the recovery process.

That’s where John and Kelly Pettis came in. The couple has been looking to foster for a while.

“You have to remember they can’t fight for themselves a lot of times,” John said. “But, they have good people to fight for them and, when those people fight for them, they get a chance to show that they have all the power to do what we are supposed to be doing for them.”

Hampton’s initial arraignment is set for April 5 in St. Francois County.

If you’d like to help with Troopers’ medical expenses as he recovers and want to follow his progress, that information is available at Missouri K-9 Friends or on Facebook.