Sometime last year, Gil was shot.

The black Lab, now thought to be no older than 3, had a buckshot lodged in his spine. He was also shot in his thigh. As a result, he lost all feeling in his hind legs. 

Beyond his paralysis, Gil was near starvation, had tick fever, burned skin and a cattle wart on his face. 

Fast forward many months and Gil has a whole team of supporters behind him. “He has a brightness and joy in his eyes,” Kim Kelly, one of Gil's foster moms, told the Arizona Daily Star last year.

And although doctors don't think he'll be able to walk normally again, he's able to zip around in a wheelchair. Plus, he no longer has tick fever and he's put on a few pounds. He does monthly physical therapy at a vet clinic and does daily exercises at home.

He also gets monthly massages at A Loyal Companion, a local dog recreation center. Gil also does at-home laser therapy.

Kelly says that in recent months, Gil's personality has started to shine even more and the foster team is searching for his forever home. He's playful, energetic and loves to go on walks, Kelly says. 

Gil has also rallied close to 450 likes on his Saving Gil Facebook page and is no stranger to dog events around the city. There's even an upcoming comedy show benefiting him.

The show kicks off at 7 p.m. on March 29 at the Fox Tucson Theatre. The show features humorist Jeanne Robertson and is hosted by Comedy for Charity, which runs by the slogan, "With laughter, there's hope." 

"Jeanne Robinson has a big following," Comedy for Charity Executive Director and Founder Suzie Agrillo says. "It's comedy, so it'll be a fun night. I think it's a good match."

Comedy for Charity started after the 2011 shooting in Tucson that killed six people and injured 13. However, Agrillo had been advocating against violence long before then — her sister was killed in a Chicago mugging in 1980. 

And when she read the Star's article about Gil back in November, she knew she had to help.

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"It wasn't even a question — I had to do something," she says. 

She got in touch with Gil's foster team on Facebook and sent them gift cards for a fundraiser they were holding last year.

At the time, she didn't know she'd be putting on the 2019 comedy show in support of Gil. But now, months later, the show is right around the corner — with a portion of the ticket proceeds benefiting Gil and his ongoing care.

"I admire Gil's resilience and courage. His story is so compelling to me because he was out there alone and sick," she says. "It was a tragedy that turned into a miracle."

Tickets start at $29, and, of course, Gil will be in attendance. More information about the show can be found here.

Contact reporter Gloria Knott at gknott@tucson.com or 573-4235. On Twitter: @gloriaeknott

Metro Producer

Gloria is a Tucson native and attended the University of Arizona. She started at the Star as an apprentice in 2017. Following her apprenticeship, she began freelancing until becoming a full-time reporter and producer after her college graduation in 2018.