German Shepherd Shot in the Head Adopted by Jupiter Cop

LOXAHATCHEE, Fla. — A German Shepherd who was shot in the face is improving after his injury and will now have a loving new owner.

“She was in recovery for over five to six weeks, before she felt well enough to meet her new owner,” said Lauree Simmons, president and founder of Big Dog Ranch Rescue.

This new owner is Officer Craig Yochum of the Jupiter Police Department. He heard of what happened to the empress and decides to adopt it.

“I figured I had a German Shepherd that was about the same age that she probably got along pretty well with him,” Yochum said.

Empress arrived at Big Dog Ranch Rescue in Loxahatchee in early March.

WPTV was told she escaped and ended up on someone’s doorstep in Wellington with a gunshot wound under her eye.

The veterinary radiologist believes that Empress was probably hit by a 40 or 45 caliber bullet, possibly at close range, and the fragments nearly missed her vital organs.

The Empress may still need surgery, but the guardians of Big Dog Ranch Rescue I hope she makes a full recovery and won’t need it.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the matter.

“All we can do is be there for them,” Simmons said. “Try to save as many as possible.”

Empress will now join the thousands of adopted dogs after their stay and care here at Big Dog Ranch Rescue.


Officer Craig Yochum, President and Founder of Big Dog Ranch Rescue Lauree Simmons and Empress.

“What a better home to go to. I’ve dedicated my life to helping people. Now unfortunately with my job you’re getting into police and law enforcement work, you’re fielding calls like this one,” Yochum said. “Hopefully now she goes to a place where I can keep her safe.”

No one has been arrested in the Empress case and there is still a $13,000 reward via PBSO for anyone who may have information that could lead to an arrest.

The public is invited to share in the celebration of the 50,000 rescue dog at Celebrity Chefs for Canines Event at Delray Beach April 24 at 5:30 p.m. This ticketed event includes cocktails, chef tasting stations, a seated dinner, luxury auction and live entertainment. All proceeds support the rescue work of Big Dog Ranch Rescue.

About Victoria Rothstein

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