A DEVASTATED dog owner has told how her beloved Labrador puppy was shot in the face while out for a run in a cruel attack.
Jess Buxton of Danville, Vermont, let her one-year-old Berkeley out to go to the toilet with her four other dogs before the shocking events unfolded. Moments later she sensed something was’t right when he failed to return to her door with the rest of the pack and so she began to look for him. Her agonising wait dragged on for hours before she eventually found Berkeley huddled near her home and clearly injured from the attack.
Jess told NBC5: “I saw him lying there with his head in between his paws and his eyes were half-way open.
“I wasn’t sure if he was alive.”
Jess had moved to the area in September to be closer to her mother.
She alleges her black-coloured Lab chanced upon her neighbour Frederick Keenan, 72, and the pensioner blasted him in the skull.
Jess told local station NBC5: “He probably was just wagging his tail, saying ‘hi’ to him… that was my boy.
“He just shot him in the face.”
Mr Keenan has since been charged with aggravated cruelty and is due to appear before a court in December.
He has refused to comment on the charges being brought against him.
Jess rushed the injured puppy to a nearby veterinary surgery in the hope that they could save his life.
But shortly after arriving a member of staff took her into a room and told there that sadly, there was nothing they could do for poor Berkeley.
The American described her dog as a “sweet and gentle” companion and said she has struggled to admit to herself she now has only four canines.
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Weeping, she told the network: “I’m still taking out five treats at night and I didn’t have the heart to put the other one back.”
Jess said the tragedy has caused her to rethink her devotion to her pets and has made her determined to campaign for animal rights.
She said: “My life mission from this point on is to fight for these dogs.
“When something like this actually happens to you, you can’t even describe it.”
She said of Berkeley: “That was my boy.”
A news release from the Vermont State Police shows authorities were notified of what happened the day after the attack.