PALM COAST, Fla. (WFLA) — A one-year-old puppy has found a new home and is expected to make a full recovery after deputies said it’s previous owner shot it in the face.
Rocky, a Dutch Shepard, was a adopted by a Flagler County Sheriff’s Office employee this week, just over a month after police found it locked in a kennel with gunshot wound to the face.
According to the FCSO, on April 5, 911 dispatched received several calls from neighbors in the Seminole Woods area that claimed they heard a dog crying and a gunshot. When deputies arrived to the home referenced in the calls, 25-year-old Jamier Lee answered the door and told them that he hadn’t heard anything.
Deputies said they decided to investigate after Lee’s mannerisms became concerning. He also had fresh blood on his face and a freshly dug hole in the back yard.
When detectives talked with Lee, they said he told them a family member woke him up because the dog had bitten her. Lee then grabbed a gun, took the dog outside and shot it once in the head.
Lee dragged the dog into a kennel in the bedroom and locked it in in there, according to deputies. An investigation showed the dog was in the kennel for two hours before law enforcement got there.
The FCSO said Lee tried to clean the blood off his porch to prevent anyone from finding out what happened.
After Lee confessed to shooting the dog, deputies said they went inside where they found Rocky visibly suffering. They took Rocky to the Flagler Animal Hospital for treatment.
According to the sheriff’s office, an examination found Rocky was shot through his snout and bottom lip, and the bullet went into his neck and shoulder area, and through his left front leg, breaking it. He was not able to put any weight on the leg for some time, only being able to hop around in short bursts.
“This is a sick and twisted individual to try and reprimand an animal and leave it to die,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “To the neighbors who contacted us to report this incident, you may have very well saved this dog’s life. This was a great team effort everyone involved and I hope this guy never gets the privilege of owning a pet again.”
Lee was arrested on felony cruelty to animals and tampering with physical evidence charges.
Rocky is still healing, but doing well, according to his new family. They also said he is a happy puppy and doubt the claim made by Lee that he bit someone.
“He’s very playful, loves his toys, is great with our other dog, and loves everyone he meets,” the anonymous adopter said. “He’s never even growled at us, unlike his previous family claimed. A little love goes a long way!”