Bartlett police investigate animal cruelty

Murphy the Sheltie is on the road to recovery, but a pellet remains buried in his body.

"Went down and into his lung down here," explains Murphy's master John Foster.

Murphy and Foster were on a recent walk in Bartlett's Stoneridge Park when Foster heard an air rifle shot.

"And as soon as the shot went off, I heard them scrambling through the bushes," says Foster. "They took off as soon as they shot," he adds. "I definitely think it was intentional."

Murphy acted unusual before going to the vet where Foster's fears were confirmed. The pellet lodged inside Murphy's lung is clearly visible on an X-Ray.

"I mean, there is a lot worse tragedies in this world, but I can't think of anything more senseless then shooting as a poor dog like this," says Foster.

Bartlett Police confirm this isn't the only case involving a pellet gun and a pet. Another recent incident was when a cat was shot in its back yard. Doctor Kim Hunt says pellets can break bones in pets and cause blindness if they hit an eye.

"But also, if they hit in the proper place, they can be fatal to animals," says Hunt, owner of Hillcrest Animal Hospital.

That nearly happened to Murphy.

"He said if it would have hit his heart, it would have killed him instantly," says Foster.

Reward posters have now gone up in the park where Murphy was shot. Foster hopes the shooter is caught before somebody's pet ends up dead.

Another Bartlett family recently lost a pet to poisoning. That incident is believed to be un-related to the shootings. If you know anything about these or other animal abuse cases in Bartlett, call Bartlett Crime Stoppers at 385-5555.