Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19742
Classification: Shooting
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Friday, Jul 6, 2012

County: Rio Arriba

Disposition: Open

Suspect(s) Unknown - We need your help!

A dog was found shot through the chest with an arrow on pueblo land north of Española on Friday morning and died later on the operating table.

Okhay Owingeh police are investigating but had no leads by late in the day. "It's really an unfortunate thing," said Police Chief Donovan Trujillo. "I don't recall ever having a case like this."

Tula, a 3-year-old border collie, was brought to the Española Valley animal shelter by Paul Pedrazza, whose girlfriend owned the dog, about 8:30 a.m. The arrow protruded from either side of the dog's body.

"This all about spite and cruelty," Pedrazza said later in the day. "If a person can do that to a dog just for the heck of it, how much more would they go and do to a human being?"

Pedrazza said Tula had somehow escaped from a chain. He was washing his car when he saw her wounded with the arrow.

Nina Stively of the Española Valley Humane Society said she couldn't imagine the pain Tula was experiencing as she was carried into the shelter after Pedrazza brought her in. The dog, which weighed about 55 pounds, had a gentle personality and didn't growl or snap as she was lifted, Stively added.

"She just looked at us and wagged her little tail," she said.

"No dog ever deserved to be shot," Stively said. "But a dog with a personality like this one, it's really hard to understand why somebody would do something like that."

The dog was taken to the Cottonwood Veterinary Clinic in Española but didn't survive surgery. When the arrow was removed, "there was just too much bleeding from too many different places," Stively said.

The Humane Society plans to work with tribal police to establish a reward for information about whomever shot Tula, Stively said.

"That would be great," Chief Trujillo said. "That would be something I'm very open to."

Pedrazza said he'd heard yelping early in the morning before he found he wounded Tula but didn't think much of the noise because there are often loose, stray dogs around his home off U.S. 84/285.

He said that from time to time he gathers strays and takes them to the shelter, but he wouldn't speculate on whether he thought that activity was related to Tula being shot. He did say that people around the area have been known to threaten to kill loose dogs who attack chickens or do something like knock down an old person. He said years ago a young boy pointed a BB gun at his dog.

Stively said that an emotional Pedrazza told shelter employees when he brought in Tula on Friday morning that he didn't feel he could keep the dog safe at home "while the person who did this was roaming free."

She said shelter personnel couldn't go to Pedrazza's place to get the dog when he first called to report the shooting because Ohkay Owingeh doesn't have an animal control contract with the Humane Society.

Trujillo said there was a contract until a couple of years ago. He said the pueblo does have a problem with stray dogs and is in the process of establishing an animal control department and probably will contract with the Humane Society to take strays at the Española shelter.


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