Dog shootings rock Dunn Center

Amanda Daugherty is afraid to let her dog out of her sight.

That’s a feeling many residents of Dunn Center share after a 3-year-old Lab was shot and nearly killed this past week. “Gatzby” was saved after undergoing a 3.5-hour surgery to repair a gunshot wound. According to social media, the bullet lacerated his liver, tore through his diaphragm, broke two ribs and landed in his chest.

The Lab was reunited with his family.

Daugherty wasn’t so lucky. A dog belonging to her son was shot and killed in October. The 4-year-old Shar Pei  was found under a tree less than a block from Daugherty’s home.

Since that day in October and this past week with “Gatzby,” four dogs have been shot in the Dunn Center area.

“It’s frustrating,” said Daugherty said. “It’s irritating. It’s irritating, the fact that it’s still happening.”

The shootings seem to be happening during the day. But who, where, and why, remain a mystery.

And that leaves many wondering who is next?

Dunn Center city auditor Sadie Lambert said city officials don’t know if the dogs were shot within the city limits. She referred all questions to the city attorney, Christina Wenko. Wenko was not available for comment on Wednesday.

Cody Benson was distraught when he learned that his dog had been shot and killed two weeks ago. He was working on the road when he received the call from family members about his friend of eight years.

He asked his family that they bury his buddy before he came home. He didn’t want to talk about it.

It’s not known if any of the dogs were running at large or posed some type of danger.

Dunn Center has regulations regarding animals running at large, dangerous or vicious animals and killing dangerous animals. According to the regulations, it is unlawful to keep or harbor within the City any dangerous or vicious animal, or to permit any dangerous or vicious animal of any kind to run at large with the City.

In regards to killing dangerous animals, the regulations states: The members of the Police Department or any elected City officials are authorized to kill any dangerous animals of any kind when it is necessary for the protection of any person or property.

“Nobody seems to know who is doing this,” Daugherty said. “What can I do? I couldn’t do anything before. I can’t do anything about these others.”

Dunn County Sheriff Clay Coker urged the public to report it to law enforcement for investigation.

“The best thing is to get us involved as early on as you can so we can investigate the situation,” Coker said.

He said doesn’t know how many of the cases have been reported, but said each needs to have its own investigation.

He said you could use lethal force on an animal if you felt your life was in danger or if livestock was in danger. If that was not the case, he said, then it could be considered destruction of property or animal cruelty.

But to determine that, there needs to be an investigation.

Still, it hurts when something like this happens, Daugherty said.

Having a family dog enhances the quality of a person’s life. It becomes part of the family, reports say.

According to a report by Stacy Stewart on the web site Beagles Unlimited, there is evidence that animal companionship reduces loneliness and gives a person a sense of well being. Pets can influence people in ways that are different from human relationships. People are highly influenced by dogs because dogs have an unconditional love and friendship that many people cannot get from other humans. The presence of pets increases feelings of happiness, security, and it reduces the feelings of loneliness. Dogs can fill a person’s emotional needs which can sometimes be substituted for the loss of a particular human attachment, or it can add to certain social contacts that enhance specific pleasures in life.

“I love my dog,” said Tom Turney, who was walking his dog near a park in Killdeer. “He’s like a part of me. Like my arm or leg.”

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