Dog found shot in town

McCORDSVILLE — A pitbull found wandering in a McCordsville neighborhood this week had to be euthanized after having been shot twice.

Residents called 911 Monday night after spotting the blood-covered animal limping through their subdivision on the county’s northwest side. The dog had puncture wounds to its muzzle and back that police said they believe were caused by gunshots.

The dog was taken to Greenfield-Hancock Animal Management, where it was later euthanized after officials there determined it wouldn’t recover from its injuries.

Now, officials are asking anyone with information about the incident to contact the county’s animal management office. Without more details, there is little they can do determine what happened to the dog or hold the person who shot it responsible, they said.

The dog was a young male with a white and brown coat. It appeared to be a boxer-pitbull mix, according to police reports. It was not wearing a collar and did not have a microchip under its skin.

Jennifer Lucas of McCordsville said her son called her outside Monday around 10:30 p.m. after he noticed an unfamiliar dog walking slowly along the sidewalk in front of their house.

The animal was acting strangely, Lucas’ son had said; and not realizing the dog was hurt, Lucas said she tried to shoo it from her yard at first.

But the dog wouldn’t leave, she said. And that’s when she noticed the animal’s injuries.

There was blood throughout the animal’s fur, and it seemed scared, she said.

“He had this look in his eye,” Lucas said. “He just wanted help.”

Lucas gave the dog some water while neighbor, Kory Conwell, who’d also spotted the dog, called for help.

The dog was friendly and timid, Conwell said. Its breathing was labored, and blood was coming from its mouth. It drank a bottle and a half of water in the few minutes it took animal management to arrive in the area, he said.

At first, Conwell and Lucas thought the dog might have been attacked by another animal. It wasn’t until sheriff’s deputies arrived and found the puncture wounds to the animal’s body that they learned the dog had been shot, Conwell said.

Officers found the dog had suffered two gunshot wounds, according to reports.

One shot traveled through the dog’s nose and mouth. The other ripped through its back and abdomen. It appeared both bullets left the dog’s body, reports state.

The deputies tried to investigate, searching the area in hopes of determining what happened to the dog or locating its owner. All they found was the short trail of blood between Lucas’s and Conwell’s homes, according to police reports.

The dog was brought to Greenfield-Hancock Animal Management in Greenfield, where it was later put down because its injuries were so severe.

Without more information about where the dog came from or what happened in the moments before the animal was shot, no further investigating can take place, sheriff’s department leaders say.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Greenfield-Hancock Animal Management at 317-477-4367.

A person who intentionally harms an animal that did not pose an immediate threat faces criminal charges, prosecutors say. Most accusations of animal cruelty are filed as a Class A misdemeanor; but if investigators are able to determine someone shot the dog as a means of torturing or mutilating the creature, the charge would rise to a Level 6 felony, according to state statutes.

Lucas said she hopes investigators are able to determine what happened to the dog. She wants to know what drove someone to hurt the animal.

“I just hope it wasn’t done out of hatefulness,” she said. “No dog deserves that kind of treatment.”

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Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or cvanoverberghe@greenfieldreporter.com.