‘Unstoppable' Dog Recovering After Overcoming Death Twice

"She will give it her all. I don’t think she will stop until she gets there."

Veterinarians are calling a terrier mix who was shot by her former owner in Riverside an "unstoppable miracle dog" after she was attacked by another dog earlier this week and overcame death once again.

Back in June, 3-year-old Shayla and five other dogs were shot from behind by their now-former owner in Riverside.

Shelter Hope Pet Shop, a Ventura County rescue group, picked up Shayla, and the road to recovery from a bullet to the hips began.

"I love her," said Mary Emerick, who was fostering Shayla and getting her back on four paws. "She never gave up."

But on Tuesday morning, they went out walking near her Moorpark home, and big, unleashed dogs got out and set their sights and teeth on Shayla.

Eugene Contreras, a Moorpark city street sweeper, thought the dogs were attacking Mary. He leapt out of his truck with a metal pipe, but didn't use it. The dogs ran off instead, and Shayla was rushed to an operating room.

"He’s my hero," Mary said.

Now, Shayla has four broken ribs, a collapsed lung and most of the skin on her back was torn loose.  

But doctors say her prognosis is excellent. They're convinced Shayla will walk again -- because she is unstoppable.

"She will give it her all," Mary said. "I don’t think she will stop until she gets there."

A report was filed with the Ventura County Department of Animal Services regarding the dogs who attacked. Freier says this is a good reminder to keep large dogs under control and on a leash.

Anyone could help with Shayla's recovery by contacting the Shelter Hope Pet Shop at or by visiting for more information.

As for those who might want to adopt Shayla -- Mary Emerick might have first dibs.

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