No living creature deserves to be on the receiving end of unprovoked violence. But that’s what happened to a 100-pound (approx. 181-kilogram) English Mastiff named Jackson who found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, even though that “wrong place” was his very own backyard. Jackson was shot at 60 times with a pellet gun, and the attacker was, quite literally, a little too close to home.
Jackson was left with multiple puncture wounds and still, to this day, has some of the fragments lodged inside his body. The dog’s owner, 26-year-old Hayden Howard, from Seymour, Indiana, told KTLA that her pup was in their fenced-in backyard when the attack happened.
Jackson, who was less than 12 months old at the time, was acting normally before Hayden noticed a strange pattern of wounds scattered across his body. She first thought the marks were bug bites, but upon closer inspection realized that they looked much more sinister. Howard took Jackson to the vet.
“Saturday night I started noticing holes on him,” the distressed dog owner told KTLA. “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.”
Jackson had a painful puncture wound under his eyelid, one in his ear, one on his knee, and one covering his underbelly. “They came out there and he handed me this little cup,” Howard recalled, “and showed me all these little BBs; I just didn’t know what to say or what to do.”
**News Release**On April 17th, 2017 Officers with the Seymour Police Department were dispatched to an address in the…
Eventually, overcome with emotion, Howard had to leave the room for the remainder of Jackson’s procedure.
After shaving Jackson’s back for a closer look, the vet discovered that the poor dog’s skin had been punctured by 20 BBs and seven pellets. But Howard learned from a Seymour police officer that it was likely at least twice as many shots were fired.
“Twenty some pulled out of him,” Howard regaled, “twenty some that were probably still in him, and then twenty some that probably hit him and bounced off. So he said there were probably over sixty some that actually were shot at him.”
Authorities searched Howard’s backyard for clues and came across several BBs lodged in a tree on the dog owner’s property. Using deductive calculations, they traced the likely direction of fire to the house next door to Howard’s. Her neighbor Tim Woodward became an immediate suspect, and after obtaining a search warrant, police investigated the property.
The authorities discovered drug paraphernalia inside Woodward’s home, a BB gun, and pellets that visually matched those pulled out of Jackson’s body during his vet visit. Woodward was arrested on drug charges and under suspicion of the attack on Jackson. Additionally, police sent the pellets for laboratory testing in order to match them to Jackson’s injuries.
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Seymour Police Department announced their findings on Facebook. “Officers with the Seymour Police Department were dispatched to an address in the 400 Block of Vehslage Road in reference to reported animal abuse,” they wrote. “The caller advised their dog had been shot in excess of 27 times with a BB and pellet gun.”
“Under the Law, criminal charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty,” the department explained, adding, “The investigation into the incident continues, and additional charges are likely.”
A central Indiana woman is searching for the person who shot her English Mastiff puppy with dozens of BBs and pellets. If you have any information that could help, call Seymour police at (812) 522-1234.More: http://via.fox59.com/MnwXL
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Howard remained in shock. “I don’t know what to think, because my neighbors have been really good to [Jackson],” Howard admitted to KTLA. “Their daughter walks him,” she said. “I mean, they’ve been good to him so I don’t know what to think about that.”
Assistant Chief Craig Hayes told the Daily Mail that Jackson’s injuries were the worst animal cruelty case he had ever seen. “I have never seen an animal shot that many times,” he admitted. “It’s a very bad case and it’s sad to see.”
But strong, stoic Jackson, despite his ordeal, returned home with Howard and began the patient work of making a full recovery. “He’s good,” Howard shared. “He’s well, he’s home taking medicine and everything.”