JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Neighbors of a San Marco community are concerned after a Army veteran's dog was found shot to death in a resident's backyard.
The 90-year-old vet is battling cancer and is in hospice care, being treated for health issues. Neighbors and volunteers with the Humane society said they have their suspicions about who's responsible for his dog's death.
"I heard a pop thought it was fireworks in the neighborhood, didn't think much of it, my dog came running underneath me it scared him, next thing I know i see one of the guys across the street taking off in his car," said Terry Clements, a neighbor.
When Clements went to investigate, they found the dog lying dead. Clements said when the vet learns what happens, he'll be devastated.
"Those dogs are pretty much his life," said Clements. "Now one of them is gone."
Ann Klein, a family friend has been helping care for the vet's two dogs while he's away.
"he was just a big old baby," said Klein. "he just didn't want anybody in his domain."
Klein and other neighbors like Carol Cromwell-Ierna said they're outraged by the violence. Cromwell-Ierna is a community and animal care advocate. She pointed out there are plenty of ways to deal with a disruptive pet, but violence is never an option.
"The first line of defense is talk to your neighbor; not take a gun and shoot the dog," said Cromwell-Ierna.
Neighbors and friends said the dog was inside the fenced backyard and said he posed no threat to anyone. They told News4JAX investigators spoke with a neighbor believed to be responsible, but he denies shooting the dog.
No arrests have been made and police continue to investigate.