On June 30th, 2015, our 7-month-old Husky puppy Sophie was shot four times by our neighbor. It happened while we were building a fence for Sophie, so she could play safely in our yard. I can still vividly recall hearing the twelve gunshots, looking over and seeing that Sophie had slipped out of her collar. I froze. I couldn’t bring myself to believe those shots were being fired at our harmless puppy.
Our neighbor claimed the puppy attacked and killed his chickens. In the moment, we just cared about getting Sophie medical assistance. When my boyfriend tried to pick up Sophie, our neighbor turned the gun on him and told him he’d be shot next if he tried to move the dog. We had to watch in horror for 20 minutes as our puppy choked on her own blood until the police came.
Sophie barely survived, and now the Elbert County District Attorney’s Office wants her to be destroyed and me to be charged with “unlawfully owning a dangerous animal.” We are also facing the possibility of six months in jail. Sophie was a puppy. She wasn’t dangerous then, and isn’t now. We are pleading with the DA to drop these charges and let Sophie live.
The last six months have been a confusing blur. Not only were the chickens roaming free on our neighbor’s property illegally, but there was never proof that our dog was responsible for their deaths. With twelve shots fired into a group of 30 to 40 chickens, it could easily have been the gun that killed them. Sophie had been around farm animals since we got her, and had never shown aggression. In fact, one of her best animal friends as a puppy was a baby goat we got around the same time. Sophie is not dangerous to people or animals.
Sophie is our dog, and we take responsibility for her actions. If she did, indeed, kill any of the four chickens that died that day, we would have paid any fines and replaced the animals. Instead, we are being treated like hardened criminals and, Sophie, like she attacked a person. We have never been in trouble with the law, and Sophie is not a dangerous animal.
We are fighting for Sophie’s life, and we need your help. We have tried negotiating with the Elbert County DA. For reasons I cannot understand, they are demanding that a puppy that chased some chickens and was shot four times should be destroyed. With your help and enough outrage, Sophie can live a full life.