Morgan County family says their neighbor shot their dog

Morgan County family says their neighbor shot their dog

Posted:
The Helton family lives on Forest Hills Drive. Their neighbor, who they say shot their seven-month-old puppy, lives just down the road. The Helton family lives on Forest Hills Drive. Their neighbor, who they say shot their seven-month-old puppy, lives just down the road.
The bullet went into Prince's throat and out his side. The bullet went into Prince's throat and out his side.
There is video evidence of the incident thanks to another neighbor's surveillance camera. Helton says she's seen the video. There is video evidence of the incident thanks to another neighbor's surveillance camera. Helton says she's seen the video.

By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

HARRIMAN (WATE) – A Morgan County family says their dog was shot in the throat by a neighbor.

The Helton family lives on Forest Hills Drive. Their neighbor, who they say shot their seven-month-old puppy, lives just down the road.

Six days after their dog, Prince, was shot in the throat, he's slowly getting back on his feet.

"It's been a miracle. He's almost jumping. He's walking, he's running," said Ashley Helton, the dog's owner.

But Friday night the Helton family thought they'd lost their dog.

"I imagined he'd be dead being shot in the throat," Helton said. The bullet went into Prince's throat and out his side.

Across the street, another neighbor witnessed part of the incident.

"I was taking care of my dogs and I hear a pop," said Tammy who lives across the street.

She came to the street and says she saw neighbor Barry Howard riding away.

"[Howard] was riding a bicycle up. He had a gun in his shorts and he looked at me and said ‘I'm not getting dog bit, and he peddled and I saw the dog in the road," Tammy said.

The Morgan County Sheriff's office is investigating.

"We're taking it serious just like every other call. We're taking statements and doing our investigations, collecting everything we can," said Chief Steve Cochran.

There is video evidence of the incident thanks to another neighbor's surveillance camera. Helton says she's seen the video. 

"You can see every detail, every detail as it happens. There's no questions about, he pulled the gun before he got near him," Helton explained.

But Helton admits her dog was off it's leash.

"I did violate the leash law by the dog not being tied," she said.

And that's where the sheriff's department will have to determine if the dog was shot in self-defense or for some other reason. Helton says she knows exactly why her neighbor did it.

"He made the comment that he was cleaning the neighborhood up, that there's a leash law," Helton said.

And while they are thankful young Prince is back on his feet, they say justice needs to be served.

The Morgan county sheriff's department says they plan to present the case to the grand jury. Possible charges include animal cruelty and reckless discharge of a firearm.

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