OV police seeking person who shot dog - The Explorer: Pima Pinal

OV police seeking person who shot dog

Pet survived despite extensive internal injuries, remains in animal hospital

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Posted: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 8:06 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Oro Valley Police are asking for the community's help in finding the person who shot a dog on New Year's Eve.

The dog, an 11-year-old whippet named Winchester, was found non-responsive on the floor of a house on North Sand Canyon Place, where he was staying with family friends while his owners were out of town.

Police have no leads into the shooting.

"Right now it's a plea for help from the community," said Oro Valley Police Det. Wes Helvig.

Helvig said he spoke with numerous neighbors in the area the dog was staying but no one had any information.

Winchester has been in an animal hospital since the shooting. Police say the shooter used a pellet gun to shoot the dog. Veterinarians removed a misshapen .177 caliber pellet from Winchester.

The dog's owner, Ron Watkins, said Winchester had surgery to remove the projectile from his right side, which pierced his intestines and pancreas.

While greatly recovered, Winchester still can't feed himself. Watkins said the dog has to remain in the hospital until a feeding tube can be removed.

"It really is incredibly malicious animal cruelty," Watkins said.

The dog's treatment already has cost Watkins thousands of dollars.

Worse, Watkins said Winchester had recently made a full recovery from cancer surgery and radiation treatment.

Watkins has offered a $500 reward to anyone who comes forward with information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for Winchester's shooting.

Anyone with information can call the Oro Valley Police Department at 229-4800, 88-CRIME or 9-1-1.

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