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Police are asking for the public’s help after a five-month-old puppy is shot in the face and chest on the near east side of Indianapolis on Saturday afternoon. Another bullet grazed her tail.

It happened on Marlowe Avenue after 2 p.m. The puppy owner told FOX59 said she heard shots fired then went outside and saw her injured pet. She also said she could not care for the puppy.

“Some witnesses say they heard four to five shots, and then heard a car speed off,” said Sgt. Aaron Sparks, IMPD.

“We had a couple of neighbors holding towels to the dog’s jaw to control the bleeding. I grabbed blankets that were in my trunk and covered the dog up to help her out,” said IMPD officer Jennifer Gabel.

“When I first arrived on scene, there were several officers trying to administer first aid to the dog,” said Michael Bonito, an animal control officer with Indianapolis Animal Care and Control.

Local rescue, Every Dog Counts Rescue, immediately took the puppy from IACC and transported her to an emergency veterinarian.

“I could see the gunshot through her face, and the one through her chest, so on the way to the emergency vet when she started getting sleepy, it made me worried that I may be losing her so I was very relieved that she was able to be stabilized pretty quickly,” said Tara Harris, Every Dog Counts Rescue Director.

The puppy has been renamed ‘Joy.’ Harris said it was officer’s quick-thinking that made a difference, and she is determined to give her a life that embodies that very word.

Police suspect the shooting may have been a part of a gang initiation. They reported two similar incidents in the summer in the same police district.

Witnesses report seeing a blue vehicle, and they gave police a partial plate description of ’99.’ Anonymous tips about the shooting can be made by calling Crimestoppers at 262-TIPS.

Donations can be made to Every Dog Counts Rescue to help pay for Joy’s needed surgeries, or donations can be made directly to the veterinarian, VCA West 86th Street Animal Hospital. The phone number for the veterinarian is 317-872-0200.

Joy will need to undergo reconstructive jaw surgery later this week, and metal objects will be removed from her stomach. Harris said that is often the sign of neglect; the puppy may not have been supervised properly.

One of the rescue’s foster homes will care for the puppy until she is healthy enough to be adopted.