An Indiana woman is trying to find out who left her puppy's skin riddled with holes from BBs and pellets — with one of the tiny projectiles even lodged underneath the dog's eyelid.
Hayden Howard told KTLA sister station WXIN in Indianapolis that her 100-pound English Mastiff named Jackson was in her fenced-in backyard in Seymour when the attack happened sometime over Easter weekend.
Jackson, who is less than a year old, seemed to be acting like nothing was wrong Saturday, Howard said. But then she noticed something strange on the pup's body.
“He had some marks on him and we thought they were bug bites and stuff,” Howard said. “Well, then Saturday night, I started noticing holes on him.”
When Howard took Jackson to the vet Monday, she was astonished to learn her dog's body was blanketed with wounds from BBs and pellets.
“They were just kind of looking at all the little holes and stuff and the more they shaved him, they just kept finding more and more,” she said. “I was in shock, I didn’t even know what to think.”
Howard says she eventually had to go out into the waiting room as the vet removed 20 BBs and seven pellets from Jackson’s skin.
“There was one under his eyelid, there was one in his ear, one in his knee, they were all over, underneath of him,” she said. “They came out there and he handed me this little cup and showed me all these little BBs and I just didn’t know what to say or what to do."
In addition to the BBs and pellets removed by the vet, Howard said a police officer told her there were probably twice that many projectiles fired at her dog.
“Twenty-some pulled out of him, 20-some that were probably still in him, and then 20-some that probably hit him and bounced off,” she said. “So he said there were probably over 60-some that actually were shot at him.”
Officers investigating at Howard's home found evidence indicating the direction the BBs and pellets were fired from, Seymour police Sgt. C.J. Foster said.
Investigators found several BBs lodged in a tree on the property, according to Foster. They followed the angle and direction of fire to the house next door to Howard’s, in the 400 block of Vehslage Road.
On Wednesday morning police obtained a warrant and found evidence that could be connected to the case, but officers declined to reveal what that physical evidence was.
“Additionally, officers and detectives located methamphetamine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia,” Foster said.
One man in the house next door was arrested on drug possession charges. When police asked the man who shot the dog next door he refused to answer without an attorney, Foster said.
No arrests have been made in connection with the animal cruelty case, but police are still evaluating evidence, according to Foster.
“We’ll see if some of that evidence can possibly be sent to the Indiana State Police lab for examination, and potentially do some follow-up interviews and go from that point,” he said.
Howard said the allegation was confusion to her as her neighbors have always treated Jackson well.
“Their daughter walks him,” she said. “I mean, they’ve been good to him, so I don’t know what to think about that.”
While the case is being investigated, Howard was happy to report that Jackson seemed to be recovering fine.
“He’s good,” she said. “He’s well, he’s home taking medicine and everything.”
A reward offered for information in the case had grown to $500 as of Wednesday evening.
Anyone with information that could help the investigation is asked to call Seymour police at 812-522-1234.