Family mourns the death of their dog, shot by their neighbor

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MANCHESTER, MO – According to the Manchester Police Department, around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday night, officers responded to a report of shots fired and a dog yelping.

Jackie Dukart noticed police in her neighborhood and when she went outside to find out what they were doing there, she said she discovered her dog, Ruger, was shot and bleeding from his chest.

"Ruger was walking up the driveway and I could tell that he had been hurt," Jackie Dukart said. "I brought him in and he was bleeding and I saw that he had a hole in him."

She and her husband took Ruger to an animal hospital, where he later died from his wounds.

Manchester Police located another resident who reported that he was in his driveway when a dog running at large approached him in an aggressive manner, growling and barking.

Fox2's Erika Tallan spoke with the neighbor who admitted he shot the dog. He said he shot Ruger because he felt his safety was in danger, he didn't have a choice but that he feels horrible about it. The man is a dog owner himself and said he loves dogs.

"I've never had anyone complain about him. I walk him. He's very friendly. He's a very nice dog. I don't believe he would attack anybody ever," said Dukart.

The shooter was not arrested or cited.

The incident remains under investigation and will be presented to the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney's Office for review.

Meanwhile Dukart said she and other neighbors are worried about their safety, wondering who or what the man might shoot next. She and her family have hired an attorney who specializes in animal abuse cases. They are anxiously awaiting maximum prosecution and penalties allowed by law.

"I just want some justice for Ruger honestly. He did not deserve what he got. it’s heartbreaking. He was a member of our family," said Dukart.