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Puppies shot and killed; police seek culprits

Puppies shot and killed; police seek culprits

The Border Collie mix puppy pictured here was the only dog to escape injury during an attack Thursday in Hilmar that left two other puppies dead. The Merced County Sheriff's Department is investiga...


POSTED August 4, 2009 10:25 p.m.
The Merced County Sheriff’s Department is searching for the person who gunned down two puppies in Hilmar on Thursday.
Two 4-month-old Border Collie mix puppies were killed in the attack. A third found at the scene was spared any harm, said sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Tom MacKenzie.
Investigators had little information on the suspect, other that that the person was driving a silver Dodge Ram style pickup, according to the witnesses’ statements.
The shooting occurred Thursday morning in the 9000 block of Washington Road in Hilmar.
Neighbors reported the sound of shots fired in the area and saw the pickup pulling away from the shoulder of the road, immediately after hearing the shots, MacKenzie said.
The commotion drew some of the residents outside and they found one of the puppies running in circles, nipping at its hind quarters.
The puppy collapsed on the ground and when the residents approached they discovered the puppy had suffered a gunshot wound to the hip area.
The puppy died at the scene from its injuries, MacKenzie said.
Deputy Micah Brawley and the neighbors searched the area and found a second puppy laying a few rows inside a cornfield, MacKenzie said. The second puppy had died from a shotgun blasts to the head and chest, MacKenzie said.
The third puppy was found a few hundred feet south of the first puppy. MacKenzie said the puppy was “obviously frightened, but in otherwise good health.”
“The puppy immediately ran up to Deputy Brawley and let him pick it up,” MacKenzie said.
The puppy is temporarily being taken care of by one of the witnesses.
All three of the puppies had collars on and the sheriff’s department is trying to track down the owner. It’s unknown if the puppies belonged to someone in the area or if they were brought there in the pickup truck.
The shooter could be facing felony charges of animal cruelty, as well as other charges, MacKenzie said.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the sheriff’s department at 385-7444.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail sstafford@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.

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