CHINA SPRING, Texas (KWTX) An animal cruelty investigation has been launched after a dog was found with a bullet in his head in a ditch in China Spring over the holidays.
'Lucky' soon after he was found with a gunshot wound to the head in a China Spring ditch on Christmas Eve. (Rescuer photo)
Amazingly, the animal survived the Christmas Eve shooting, and McLennan County Sheriff's Office investigators believe they know who intended to kill him, and nearly did.
"We do have a suspect in that case and we will be following that investigation through," Chief Deputy David Kilcrease told KWTX Wednesday.
He wouldn't comment further about the suspect "at this time" but said they were facing at least a felony animal cruelty charge.
"If you ever decide that you no longer want to keep your pet, you should take it to a shelter, you should not take it to the side of the road and shoot it," said Kilcrease. "It's probably one of the most inappropriate things to do."
Kilcrease says deputies caught wind of the shooting on social media after the rescuers posted photos of the wounded animal.
"Animal cruelty cases are always taken seriously with us, there is no motive and no reason that is acceptable for someone to injure and maim an animal and leave it lying hurt on the side of the road, or anywhere," said Kilcrease. "We are higher thinking creatures, and we should have the intellectual wherewithal to determine a better course of action than committing a felony to dispose of an animal."
By Dec. 26, deputies had made contact with the veterinarian and the rescuers then started back-tracking to find the scene and investigate.
The couple who found him, a man named Aaron and his fiance Victoria, have named the dog 'Lucky.'
"Yea Lucky was very lucky! The bullet missed everything," said Victoria. "Made a clean entrance and exit. It's crazy!" she told KWTX.
The couple spotted Lucky by chance as they were driving on Christmas Eve; they say he was lying in a ditch on Culpepper Ln. and Talbert Ranch Rd.
"He lifted his head while we were driving and I saw his eyes and made Aaron back up," said Victoria. "We got down in the ditch and he wasn't moving and barely breathing so we picked him up and took him to our house and wrapped him in blankets and started talking to him."
Next, they say they took him to a veterinarian who gave Lucky stitches at the exit wound behind his left ear, which Victoria says no longer works.
"We think that’s his only damage," she said. "He’s pretty good! Just a little out of it."
"We had to take him back to the vet to get restitched a couple of times so he’s a little aggravated with the cone," she said.
Right now family members are helping care for Lucky while he recuperates.
After that, as long as he gets along with their other dogs, the couple plans to give Lucky his forever home.
"He's such a sweet dog!" she said. "He's such a good boy!"