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Kelowna News

Dogs recovering thanks to ‘hero’ veterinarian

Sheena, a ten-year-old Rottweiler, was the most severely injured and was not expected to live.


KELOWNA – In his 17 years in veterinary medicine, Dr. Jatinder Mundi has seen his share of traumatic injuries to dogs—mostly from traffic accidents or fights. But what came through his door at Burtch Animal Hospital the morning of Sept. 16 was something else entirely: Three large rottweilers in various states of responsiveness, all three suffering from major traumatic wounds—clearly inflicted by a person wielding a sharp-edged weapon.

That last sentence may evoke rage from the most timid of animal-lovers, but Mundi didn’t have time for that. He had a job to do.

“They were severely injured,” he says. “In all my career I have never seen something like this.”

One of the rottweilers had an almost severed ear, another had a deep cut on her hind leg and a third was missing part of her skull and her muzzle was hanging by a thread of tissue. They had all lost a lot of blood and two were close to death.

The dogs were brought in by Lyall Grexton and Charlene Wiebe. At the time, they had few answers about what happened. Dr. Mundi warned them to expect the worst.

The gravest of them all wasn’t the two dogs with head wounds, but rather it was one-year-old Lola with several deep cuts on her body, including one on her hind leg down to the bone and almost 12 inches long. She was unresponsive. She’d lost a lot of blood and Dr. Mundi had to revive her once but ten minutes later she was gone.

“When (Lola) arrived she was not moving, just in shock," Dr. Mundi says. “We tried our best but when she went down the second time she didn’t come back…. She was an amazing dog.”

Dr. Mundi then focused his attention back on the other two dogs. Eight-month-old Rocky had a deep cut above the left ear down into the canal but was otherwise unharmed. He was able to stitch the wound back together and miraculously—you will hear that word again—it appears he will suffer no nerve damage and won’t lose his hearing.

But then there was 10-year-old Sheena.

“Sheena was severely injured,” Dr. Mundi says. “She had an open wound on her face and the skull was sliced off and I could see the brain. There was a fracture of the nose also and the nose was kind of moving and she had a deep cut on the left shoulder. She was so depressed and in so much pain.”

Dr. Mundi has treated countless injured animals over his 17-year career, but nothing like this. All vets have to make the call to either treat or euthanize but Dr. Mundi wouldn’t give up easily.

He took pictures and sent them to a specialist in reconstructive surgery. The specialist assured him it was possible, but put the agonizing truth before the owners of the dog. The cost would be $10,000 just for Sheena’s surgery.

“It was very expensive,” Mundi says. “So the owners told me to do whatever I can for them.”

Dr. Mundi, who only moved to Kelowna two years ago, spent most of the day reattaching Sheena’s face, muzzle and skull using wires and countless stitches. It went better than anyone could have expected given her condition that morning; he even saved her left eye and it appears she won’t have lasting nerve damage.

“The main thing now is to control infection,” he says. “The wounds were open for a long time.”

The bill for treatment of all three dogs, including the stay in the hospital, is $5,500. More than half of that has already been paid through donations from citizens who were affected by the vicious act.

Lyall and Charlene say they don’t know how they will ever be able to repay Dr. Mundi, his staff and the community for all the support they received.

“We just want to say thank you to everyone who has gone out of their way to help make this a little better," Lyall says. "Dr. Mundi is a hero. I won’t say we were lucky because we lost one of our dogs, but we still have two and that’s because of Dr. Mundi.”

Dr. Jatinder Mundi of the Burtch Animal Hospital.
Dr. Jatinder Mundi of the Burtch Animal Hospital.

WARNING VERY GRAPHIC CONTENT: The photos of the dogs taken shortly after the attack are extremely difficult to look at but illustrate the extent of their suffering and their miraculous recovery.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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