News and Tribune

Clark County

May 8, 2014

Family dog shot without known cause

Donations sought to help with operations

NEW ALBANY — A family is searching for answers and asking the community for help after one of their dogs was shot three times on Sunday.

The dog — a terrier mix named Stella — should survive; however, she could need multiple surgeries. The puppies she was carrying likely died due to the gunshots, and one of the operations needed will be to remove those puppies to prevent further damage to Stella.

The dog belongs to Savannah Bruner, and her husband, who live off Motsinger Road in Salem.

The couple adopted Stella after Bruner saw her running dangerously close to traffic about a year ago.

Stella was affectionate, and the dog has been a great playmate to their two-year old daughter, Bruner said.

“We all fell in love with her,” she said.

Stella likes to run in the family’s fenced in yard. Their property covers more than five acres, and Bruner said Stella likes to play with another stray dog the family adopted.

Last Saturday, Bruner’s husband was walking back to their home from his mother’s house when he heard a gun shot.

Bruner said that’s not out of the ordinary, as many people in that area shoot guns for practice.

Later that day, Bruner said she went outside and called for Stella, and saw her poke her head out from one of her usual resting spots.

Bruner figured she was fine, and went back to studying for one of her college classes.

On Sunday, she went to find Stella, and finally discovered her resting with some other strays near her mother-in-law’s house. Bruner said she got the feeling something was wrong.

She sat beside Stella, and attempted to rub her, and it was then she saw that the dog’s sides were covered in blood. The dog was pitiful and scared, and Bruner was worried her husband would have to put Stella down because she was in so much pain.

When they started cleaning her off, they noticed the bullet holes. According to Bruner, there were two holes in Stella’s hip, and another hole on her side.

After contacting some friends, she was alerted that due to Stella’s injuries, Dr. Barbara Pepin of Cross Creek Veterinarian Hospital in Floyds Knobs would likely be her best hope.

Bruner sped to Floyds Knobs with her last $80 and Stella. She said Pepin gave her antibiotics for the dog, and showed her how to treat the wounds.

But Stella was still laboring heavily on Monday. An acquaintance in California learned of the situation, and she agreed to pay for Stella to be placed in the vet’s hospital so she could be monitored.

Bruner said Stella has major nerve damage in her hip, and if it doesn’t revive itself, the leg may have to be amputated.

The shots have already likely killed the puppies, and Bruner said an operation will first be needed to remove the puppies to stave off infection for Stella.

Bruner said Thursday Stella’s body was in too much shock to operate.

The family contacted the Washington County Sheriff’s Department about the incident, but Bruner said the department didn’t file a report.

She said her husband did file a report with the New Pekin Town Marshal.

At this point, the emphasis is on saving Stella, though Bruner wants the person who shot her to realize the pain they caused her family and the dog.

“She’s not a mean spirited dog at all. I don’t understand why someone would shoot her,” Bruner said.

Donations for the potential operations would be appreciated by the family, but Bruner requested that Pepin only be contacted with serious inquiries.

The Cross Creek Veterinarian Hospital can be reached at 812-941-1716.


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