Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Family pet slain while children play

J-E News Editor
The Webster County Sheriff’s Department is currently looking for leads in the shooting death of a family’s German Shepherd last Thursday afternoon.
According to Dr. Whitney Wright, owner of Molly’s Mutts Animal Rescue, she and her husband arrived home on Thursday at around 5:15 p.m. to find their family pet, a black German Shepherd named Drake, dying from a gunshot wound to the lungs.

Our children should not be 
afraid to play in their back yard.” - Whitney Wright

“My two baby sitters, Jessica Graham and Abbigayle Gooch were outside with my children,” Wright said. “My ten month old was jumping in his “jumpaline” and my three older children, aged 6, 5, and 3 were swinging on their swing set.” 
The wounded dog was laying on the ground beneath the trampoline where Wright’s son was playing.
“My oldest child was very frightened, so she ran inside hysterically crying,” Wright said. “My five year old son realized Drake was hurt badly, and he dropped to his knees, and as our family pet died, my son hysterically sobbed ‘Please don’t die Drake, don’t die’.”
Webster County Sheriff Deputy Mitch Townsend and Dog Warden Aaron Richmond reported to the scene in a matter of minutes.
Along with Wright and her husband, they searched the property but were unable to find a blood trail, leading authorities to suspect that the animal may have been shot in close proximity to the family’s unsuspecting children.
After the scene was secured, authorities took possession of the animal so that the bullet could be removed as evidence in the case. The Wright family has yet to be able to bury their pet.
“This episode has saddened us tremendously and we feel our dog was murdered in our back yard with our children playing,” said Wright. “They are afraid to go into their own yard for fear of being shot. It kills us as parents because we didn’t protect him and our children should not have to worry about their safety at their home.”
The Wright family is offering a $250 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction. The sheriff’s office has asked that anyone with information to contact them at 270-639-5067.
“We have many barking dogs at the rescue and I feel one of our neighbors were “fed up” and decided to punish us, the rescue, and my family personally by putting a bullet hole in my beautiful German Shepherd,” Wright said. “This should not have happened in our small community. Our children should not be afraid to play in their back yard and they should not be “punished” because their mother chooses to house many dogs and help the community.”
According to Sheriff Frankie Springfield, the case is still under investigation. If the animal was shot in close proximity to the children as it appears, that could result in six counts of wanton endangerment in addition to other charges.

As reported by 14 WFIE News

14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro