CROCKER, Mo. (Dec. 30, 2010) — When Jeremy King came to Crocker to visit his mother, Janet Eaton, on Christmas, he never expected his family would spend Christmas Day at an emergency veterinary clinic in Springfield paying $2,000 after one of his mother’s neighbors shot his dog.
Crocker police say charges are pending against a man who shot this dog in the rear end on Christmas Day while it was relieving itself in the yard of its owner's mother.
The motive for the shooting isn’t known, but according to a statement issued late Wednesday afternoon by Crocker police, the gunman is facing multiple criminal charges in addition to liability for the veterinary bill.
The name of the shooter, who police said used a high powered pellet rifle to shoot the dog in the hindquarters as it was relieving itself about 7:30 a.m., hasn’t been released pending filing of charges. The shooter fired from two houses away onto the property of the dog owner’s mother, police said.
King said the dog, a 54-pound yellow lab slightly more than three years old, never went onto the shooter’s property and there’s no reason the dog should have been shot.
“Even to this day in our neighborhood she is known as the loveable lab,” King said. “If you got a treat she might try to take it away from you, but that’s it.”
King, a 1996 graduate of Waynesville High School who now lives in St. Peter’s, said his family members are angry and have established a bank fund with Commerce Bank and a Facebook account to raise money to pay for the veterinary bill as well as legal bills.
Known as the Lily Animal Defense Fund and named after their pet dog, the Facebook account can be found here http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lily-Animal-Defense-Fund/189351224411217 and a related website is here: http://lilylegalfund.publishpath.com/
“We have a ton of people that we’ve met throughout Missouri and Illinois that are animal lovers and there is a possibility we could have an event that could benefit our animal defense fund,” King said.
King said family members didn’t initially realize how serious their dog’s injury was, but his wife began screaming when she couldn’t get the bleeding stopped. An emergency drive to Springfield confirmed things were worse than they thought.
“When we first go in there, they took X-rays, saw the pellet, and told us right off the bat there was fluid in the stomach cavity and they assumed it was blood. They said the only way they would be able to know what was going on inside would be to do exploratory surgery; they gave us an estimate of around $1,500. We told them to proceed and they told us they would be giving the dog fluids for about an hour and then going into surgery.”
Family members tried to have Christmas dinner, but during dinner, they got another call from the veterinarian during what turned out to be four hours of veterinary surgery for their pet.
“The blood loss was very significant; an artery was hit and had bled out into the stomach. They had to give a blood transfusion, which I didn’t even know they could do,” King said. “They found two holes in the colon they were able to sew up, and then they found multiple holes through about a foot and a half of the intestines; it was torn up bad enough there was no repairing it, so they had to cut out about a quarter of the intestines.”
The veterinary surgery eventually led to a foot-long incision, an increased bill of $2,000, a day and a half of a prescribed morphine drip, and several days during which the dog remained in the Springfield veterinary hospital and couldn’t be moved.
“Once they got her weaned off the morphine drip, they just gave her pain meds through a catheter put in her leg; she did not eat or drink from Christmas morning until very early Monday morning,” King said. “Luckily, she was good enough they allowed us to move her to St. Louis.”
King said his pet will have to remain on IV fluids and pain medications for several more days at the suburban St. Louis community of Chesterfield.
“We want to bring awareness to the community of animal abuse and sometimes the difficulty in prosecuting animal abuse,” King said. “We want to make it better for everyone; it is not just to protect our own dog and go after this guy, but it is in the long run that we want something good to come out of this.”
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