Pflugerville shelter dog finds 10K year-old bison bone

Wilhelm said the age of the bone is just an estimate

Photo Courtesy: MGNonline

PFLUGERVILLE (KXAN) — A dog at the Pflugerville Animal Shelter is being credited for digging up a piece of history. Earlier this month Shelby, an 8-year-old pit bull-terrier mix, went into the creek to dive for rocks. When she popped up she had an unusual looking boulder in her mouth that turned out to be a bison bone.

“I think a 10,000 plus year old bison bone is pretty impressive,” said Devin Cook, a Pflugerville Animal Shelter Volunteer. “I don’t know how she’s going to top that, but we are hopeful that she might bring out a tyrannosaurs rex or you know a wholly mammoth, we’re waiting.”

Cook, who knows Shelby best, said another volunteer was walking Shelby earlier this month when they made the discovery. She showed another shelter helper who happens to work at an Archeological Research Lab immediately noticed the rock was actually a bone.

“Shelby has some pretty cool skills… obviously working on a degree in archeology and paleontology,” joked Kerri Wilhelm, a volunteer and Human Osteologist at UT’s Texas Archeological Research Laboratory. “It’s not just a bison bone from an instinct species bison; it has also been manipulated or processed by human beings at some point in the prehistoric past and that’s what makes it interesting to me in terms of the osteology aspect.”

Wilhelm said the age of the bone is just an estimate. They would need to test it using radiocarbon dating to get the exact age. “It’s an interesting fossil, but it ties into Texas pre history, so Shelby has incredible good taste,” said Wilhelm.

Volunteers said they hope Shelby’s historic find will help her future.

“It’s literally is kind of a Christmas miracle, where I get a little choked up thinking about it,” explained Cook as she fought back the tears. “I’ve known her for a year, and I’m excited to think this attention might actually get her adopted.”

Cook said Shelby is heat worm positive, but the shelter will cover all of her medical expenses. Adoption of Shelby and all other animals is $20 until the end of December.

The shelter said the $20 adoption includes the first set of puppy or kitten shots, rabies vaccination, spay/neuter, heart-worm test on dogs, combination test on cats, micro chipping and microchip registration, and 30 days of free pet insurance.

The Pflugerville Animal Shelter said it is is always in need of volunteers and fosters as well for more information click here.

The City of Pflugerville and the shelter now own the bone.

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