A pit bull that was shot in the face and found bleeding and wandering last week is now eating and moving around while donations pour in to cover his treatment.

The dog was taken to Stafford Veterinary Hospital by a Tuckerton couple Friday, and the facility has absorbed the costs of his treatment since then. Dr. Michael Pride said several of the dog’s teeth had to be removed after they were shattered by the bullet that went through his muzzle.

Doctors are now waiting on the results of an ultrasound of Boss’ stomach. The dog swallowed bullet fragments after he was shot.

“He’s eating now, which is the most important thing. He’s already a totally different dog than he was yesterday,” office manager Janice Achey said Wednesday. “Now, with nutrition, he’s at the front at the cage moving around and whimpering to get out.”

Dallas McGarrigle and her boyfriend, Shawn Kemple, who rescued Boss from traffic on Route 9 in New Gretna, Burlington County, visited him again Wednesday. They were greeted by a different dog than they had seen Tuesday, McGarrigle said.

“He was so happy to see us, his tail was wagging at everyone and he was letting us pet him. He gave me a kiss on my cheek. They told me that he ate a lot of chicken and he hasn’t vomited,” McGarrigle said.

The couple hopes to adopt Boss once his condition improves. As they prepared to leave and walked Boss back to his cage at the hospital, McGarrigle said Boss looked at them like he was sad.

“He kept staring at me with his two beautiful eyes. Oh my God, I’m in love with this dog. I can’t wait to take him home with us,” she said.

As Boss’ condition improves, donations are coming in to help with his medical expenses. Doctors at the hospital said if surgery is required to remove the bullet that is lodged behind his larynx and repair a torn ligament in his hind leg, it will be expensive and will have to be done by a specialist.

“The phones have been ringing all day with good Samaritans who want to help and donate. We’ve had people drop off checks and come in with their credit cards,” Achey said.

The hospital established an account for Boss, and so far they have received about $1,000, Achey said. But the surgeries Boss could be facing will have a hefty price tag.

When Boss’ photo started circulating on Facebook over the weekend, 25-year-old Nicole Marmo, of Tuckerton, said as an animal lover she knew she had to do something to help him.

Marmo started an online donation page dubbed Boss for a Cause, and in 24 hours raised more than $1,000 and was shared on Facebook almost 400 times. The fundraising goal is currently $5,500, and Marmo said she is confident it can be reached. The money will be given to the hospital to go toward Boss’ treatment, she said.

She said she is reaching out to radio stations and other businesses to get more help for Boss.

“Honestly, I think this is horrible. I don’t know who in their right mind would do this to a dog, and if they do this to a dog, they would do it to a human,” she said.

Former Atlantic City police chief Joseph Allmond said he has donated to the hospital to help Boss. The 92-year-old said he had seen many cases of cruelty during his 40-year career in law enforcement, but anyone who takes advantage of an animal is the worst kind of person.

Allmond said he would like to see whoever shot Boss in prison for about 50 years.

“I was very moved that this young couple came out and helped this dog. They are very outstanding, kind, young people, and we should have more of them. If I was still chief, I would give them a commendation,” Allmond said.

“And if I was still a police officer, I’d like to take off my badge and my belt and take care of them myself,” he said of whoever hurt Boss. “It’s a treacherous, horrible thing to do to an innocent animal.”

The New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is continuing the investigation into Boss’ shooting, NJSPCA Special Agent Sgt. Al Peterson said.

“Tips from the public are the most beneficial because someone could see this dog and recognize him,” Peterson said.

Peterson said anyone who has tips or information connected to the shooting should call the Burlington County SPCA at 609-914-4255.

Contact Donna Weaver:

609-513-6686

@DonnaKWeaver on Twitter

Senior copy editor for the Press of Atlantic City. Have worked as a reporter, copy editor and news editor with the paper since 1985. A graduate of the University of Delaware.