A pit bull in Washington County is recovering after being shot in the abdomen by an arrow and is lucky to be alive, thanks to the rescue efforts of a police officer.

Washington County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Kurt Bowen found the dog wandering on Old Highway 91. The dog is named Sarge after his rescuer.

"As he was driving down the road, he observed a black pit bull type dog that was walking in the center lanes of travel," Washington County sheriff's Sgt. David Crouse said.

Authorities say this is the third animal this year that has experienced similar violent treatment. Prior to this incident, two cats were shot with blow darts and one died from the injuries. Deputies still are not sure whether Sarge being shot by an arrow was an accident or a serious case of animal cruelty.

"Charges of animal cruelty could be pending if we find them and can prove intent, that this act was done intentionally," Crouse said.

Bowen reported seeing a large wound in the side of Sarge's abdomen as he drove by and later found that he has been shot with an arrow.

"There was some cuts and lesions to the intestinal area, some at the edge of the stomach," Crouse said.

After Sarge underwent more than three hours of surgery, he is now recovering with a foster family.

"I thought somebody has to help this dog, because I'm tired of what people are doing to their animals," his foster mom, Betsy Kolb, said.

Kolb and her husband are healing as well after they lost their dog Bella just five months ago. Now, helping Sarge get back on his feet is helping them cope.

"I see so much of our dog in him. It's almost like Bella is speaking to me through him. Weird, I know, but that's how I feel about animals," Kolb said.

It's only been a few days, but with a little medication, sleep and nutrients, Sarge is slowing bouncing back.

"He's been a good healing part. Really wonderful," Kolb said. "But everyday he's gotten better, now he's feisty to the point he doesn't want to take his pills. Not a mean bone in his body."

The foster family is temporary, so right now he's just waiting to find a new home.