SLEMP—Facebook users in the area have recently been circulating graphic photos depicting a dog that was shot in the mouth earlier this month. After the death of the dog, the Perry County Sheriff’s Office is reaching out to the community for help in finding the person who is responsible.
Deputy Sheriff Jerry Burns said the dog, a pit terrier mix, was found on Beehive Road in the Slemp community on Feb. 8, and was taken to the Kentucky River Regional Animal Shelter.
“Even with the dog’s injuries, it was wagging its tail; it was real friendly,” Burns said shelter workers reported.
Burns said the dog’s lower jaw and tongue had been shot off possibly days before it was found, and the animal had to be euthanized because of the extent of its injuries. The person or persons responsible for the shooting could face charges of animal cruelty in the second degree which is a Class A misdemeanor.
Burns wants people to understand that if they see or come into contact with an animal that is running loose to call the animal control office or the sheriff’s office—they cannot just shoot an animal that’s on their property if the animal is not endangering someone.
“Just because a dog walks through your yard doesn’t give you a right to shoot it,” Burns said.
Burns went on to implore community members to keep their pets confined to avoid incidents like this, adding that this type of animal cruelty is unusual to see in the area.
“We normally get a call that someone is neglecting this dog or horse and we go out and the animal is half starved, those are easy,”Burns stated.
There is currently a $2,000 reward being offered by the Kentucky River Regional Animal Shelter and the Guardians of Rescue in New York for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual responsible, though the sheriff’s office is not offering a reward of any kind, Burns said.
At this point in the investigation, the case is difficult to solve because officials are not getting any tips Burns said. The sheriff’s office currently has no leads on the case, but hopes someone in the community will come forward with information about the shooting or the dog’s owner soon.
Editor’s Note: Due to the graphic nature of the photos the Hazard Herald will not be publishing them.
Gwendolyn Holliday can be reached at 606-436-5771, or on Twitter @HazardHerald.