Puppy Love Turns to Tragedy: Neighbor Shoots Beloved Dog

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Puppy Love Turns to Tragedy: Neighbor Shoots Beloved Dog

A Lincoln County couple, Avery Hanny and Morgan Dean, say they’re devastated tonight after their eight-month-old golden doodle puppy, Ruger, was shot and killed by a neighbor. The puppy’s owner says their neighbor deserves to be charged, but as Queen City news reporter Daniel Pierce tells us tonight, the neighbor says that she was protecting her own animals.

“He loved clothes, he really did,” Hanny says. “And it sounds crazy to put clothes on the dog, but he, you know, that was him.” This is how they are remembering Ruger, their bandana-wearing eight-month-old golden doodle. They believe he’s not here with them because he was too good for this world.

This is the last image taken of him, 20 minutes before he was shot. “The loudest gunshot I think that we have ever heard,” the couple says. Ruger and a few other dogs were out on their property off leash at some point. They wandered onto their next door neighbor’s property out of sight. “That’s when I heard the gunshot,” Hanny says. “I didn’t you know, know what to think. That’s when I seen him where he was and I seen her and her husband there with the guns still just standing on top of him.”

Was Shooting the Only Option? Couple Devastated After Puppy Killed by Neighbor

Hanny found Ruger in the neighbor’s backyard, hit by buckshot severing his spine. Ruger was put down just a few hours later. “All she had to do was shoot in the air, shoot beside him,” Dean says. “I’m thinking oh God maybe I won’t have to do this and he stayed right there, he wouldn’t move and so I shot it.”

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Brenda Howard is Hanny and Dean’s neighbor. She claims she had no choice but to shoot Ruger after losing three of the chickens she’s raised to animals in the past week. Howard says she has already asked Lincoln County deputies to step in. “Please help me, please do something about this before it gets bad,” Howard says. “I don’t want to shoot a dog.”

Off-Leash Dog Shot by Neighbor: Was It Justified?

Home security video taken moments before the shooting showed three dogs running up to her chickens. Howard claims the brown dog is Ruger and that he killed a chicken, but Dean argues Ruger wasn’t found near the bird pin. “The dog looked up at me and growled,” Howard says. “It’s not near where he was shot. In all of the videos that we watched we did not see Ruger kill any of the chickens. We also did not see the moment the shooting happened.”

I am told by Howard that the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office is going to be reviewing all of the video that she has on her home security system to see this from beginning to end.

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