North Zulch Family Claims Neighbor Intentionally Shot their Family Dog

By: Nicole Morten Email
By: Nicole Morten Email

It's a 'he said, she said' case in Madison County, but the bottom line is, a pet owner lost a dog that was shot and killed by a neighbor. Now the case is being investigated by the Madison County District Attorney's Office.

"I think every town and every city has a problem," said North Zulch resident Sherri Peters.

No matter where you go, or where you turn…

"They're everywhere,” explained North Zulch resident Courtney Arroyo,” I mean, you can go to the end of the street and see like ten stray cats."

Stray animals and their mischievous antics are a steady problem in many rural areas, including Madison County.

“I've removed probably, upwards around 80 to 85 animals in the last 12 months,” explained Peters.

While looks can be deceiving, many animals that are spotted taking a stroll down the street -- do have a home.

“The minute you walked in the door, Dozer was just all over you and it was just love, love, love,” explained Arroyo.

A few weeks ago, Dozer took a stroll down Trinity Street -- Dozer never made it home.

"People think that, well it's a stray dog, we can do whatever we want to it, shoot it, abuse it or whatever and that's not how it needs to be," said Arroyo.

A man who lives down the street admitted to shooting Dozer because he says Dozer attacked his dog on his property. Madison County Sheriff Travis Neeley says evidence indicates Dozer was shot 35 to 50 feet away.

"He went in and got his gun and when he had come back, the dog was still there so he shot him," said Neeley. "If his dog was being attacked, he has a right to protect his property."

While every property owner has a right to protect -- Arroyo says witnesses on scene recall a different story.

“When someone is drinking and shooting a firearm in the middle of a small community with a church and a playground, that's a huge problem whether it be an animal or child,” said Arroyo.

"There was no attack on his dog from the other witnesses and that our dog was walking away, it blew me away,” she said.

Since the attack, Peters and Arroyo began a mission to bring justice for Dozer. At last check nearly 1,200 people signed an online petition and a Facebook page called, “Justice for Dozer,” has received more than 700 ‘likes’ from around the world.

"We have reached such an outpouring of support,” added Arroyo. “I mean, we have people from Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom.”

It's a mission that has Arroyo sticking to her guns -- and speaking for those -- who can't.

“I don't want to see this happen to someone else's family member,” lamented Arroyo.

In 2011, fourteen animal attacks were reported in Madison County; so far three have been reported this year. The man who admitted to the shooting has been accused of shooting three other dogs in recent months. He has also been cited by the Madison County Sheriff's office for harassing the Dozer’s family and friends.

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