Case Snapshot
Case ID: 10564
Classification: Shooting
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Animal was offleash or loose
Reward: $100
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Tuesday, Jan 16, 2007

County: Burleigh

Disposition: Open

Suspect(s) Unknown - We need your help!

Charlie, a yellow Labrador puppy, was showing potential as a hunting dog. Now, he's hobbling in a splint after being shot in the leg.

Stacey Ness, who lives on the 6500 block of Flickertail Road, said her 17-year-old son let their 9-month-old lab out of their home Jan 16 around 8:40 a.m. When her son went outside to start his car at around 8:55 a.m., he found Charlie, with his leg bleeding profusely, at the edge of the garage.

Ness said they could see blood in the snow from in front of their patio door to where her son found Charlie, about 30 feet away. If her son had stepped outside the garage when the shot was fired, Ness thinks he could have been hit instead of the dog.

"It could have been so much worse," she said, noting that a propane tank also was in the vicinity of where Charlie was shot.

Burleigh County Sheriff's Sgt. Steve Hall said the shooting was reported at 10:15 a.m. Tuesday. Officers have no suspects and no leads, he said.

No one has ever complained about the puppy to the sheriff's department, Hall said. Ness said no neighbors have complained to her about her dogs, either.

Ness, who also has a 9-year-old German shepherd, said her dogs sometimes run and play with other neighborhood dogs. But since the cold weather began, the dogs do not stray too far from the house, she said. In fact, they usually are waiting by the steps to be let back in the house.

No new footprints were found in the snow around the patio, but the family found footprints coming up the ditch to the edge of a tree row around their property, Ness said. The footprints then went back down the ditch, and stop in the middle of the road. Ness said it looks like someone got out of a car, walked up the ditch, shot the dog and walked back to the car.

Ness said she bought Charlie for $40 and hoped he would be a good hunting dog. He already was showing a natural talent for retrieving, she said.

Charlie was taken to the veterinarian's office after he was shot, and the vet could barely find enough good bone to put a plate on to reconstruct the right front leg, Ness said. The vet believes Charlie was shot with a .22-caliber rifle, Ness said.

Though Charlie is expected to make a full recovery, his hunting future may be in doubt. The veterinarian told Ness that he's not sure how Charlie will react to gunfire, and the cold weather may cause his leg to hurt.

Ness said the veterinarian's bill is at $1,100 so far, with more to come. Charlie has to stay in the house except for brief bathroom breaks outside, but he has been moving around the basement pretty well, she said.

"He's a little more rambunctious than we were prepared for," she said.

But when he goes outside, he looks in the area where Ness thinks he was shot. The German shepherd dog wouldn't go outside for the rest of Tuesday, and that dog looks around in that area, too, Ness said.

The Ness family has put up a $100 reward for information leading to whoever shot Charlie. Anyone with information should call the Burleigh County Sheriff's Department at 222-6651.

If you have information on this case, please contact:
Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department


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