LEBANON, Tenn. (WKRN) — Ten years ago, Ashley Darracott rescued a beagle-mix named Ellie Mae. Last weekend, she knew something was wrong with her four-legged friend when she found her whimpering in the backyard.

“I noticed that it was just like a puncture wound. I wasn’t sure if it was just her having run into the fence or fighting with my other dog. It just seemed weird to me and that night she started throwing up,” Darracott said.

An X-ray at a local veterinarian’s office revealed that someone had evidently shot Ellie Mae with a pellet gun.

“I was in shock really because it’s kind of the last thing you think of that would happen in a very populated neighborhood, especially with kids running all over,” Darracott said. “I have a two and a half year old that plays back here all the time.”

The vet found not one but three bullets inside the dog’s stomach cavity.

“That tells me that this has possibly happened two other times and I just didn’t know about it,” Darracott said.

Ellie Mae was treated for fever, dehydration and gall bladder damage. She’s back home now, but Darracott is hesitant to let her family play outside.

“I really don’t want to let my dogs out anymore and I really don’t want my child to be out here,” Darracott said. “It could be someone’s child next time.”

Lebanon police confirm they are investigating the incident and have received complaints from the same neighborhood about possible vandalism and “unruly juveniles.”

“For someone to do that to her it just breaks my heart because if they’ve ever met her she’s just a sweetheart,” Darracott said.

If you know anything about what happened, call the Lebanon Police Department.