Neighbor admits to shooting little boy's dog with BB gun - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Neighbor admits to shooting little boy's dog with BB gun

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ALPINE (CBS 8) - An Alpine boy is happy his dog is still alive after it was shot with a BB gun by his family's neighbor.

While that neighbor tells News 8 she believes she had a good reason, the dog's owners say there is absolutely no reason to shoot a defenseless dog.

"This dog is my son's best friend," said Alpine resident Al Nunes. "He sleeps on his pillow every night."

Nine-year-old Chris Nunes adores his terrier mix "Charger," named after his home team.

And while he admits Charger can be a bit of a trouble maker sometimes, he says his pooch never deserved to be shot with a BB gun a couple months ago.

"It made me feel really sad because I don't want my dog to die," Chris said."And then I wouldn't have anyone to snuggle with at night."

Kimberly Smith, who lives down the street, admits she pulled the trigger: she says, to protect her chickens.

"It was attacking the chickens," Smith told News 8. "It has killed five of my chickens over the last two years."

Al Nunes said he witnessed the shooting, and took Charger to the vet.

X-rays revealed not only one BB from the recent incident, but another one remaining from a past shooting.

"He's been shot three times that I know of," Al Nunes said.

Nunes reported the recent incident to Animal Control.

Officers served a search warrant on Smith's home, confiscating a BB gun, a bottle of steel BBs and a container of pellets.

"It's just not right to take the law into your own hands," Al Nunes said.

Smith claims she shot Charger only once to protect her livestock.

"It's very sad the way it all worked out," Smith said. "I wish it never happened."

"I don't think he attacked her chickens," Chris Nunes said. "But I don't think it's right to shoot an animal."

Al Nunes also said Charger once mysteriously went missing, only to show up a week later - 30 miles away - in Old Town.

On another occasion, he survived a poisoning incident.

For now, Chris is keeping Charger on a tight leash, right by his side.

While Kimberly Smith does admit to shooting Charger once with a BB gun, she and her husband deny any involvement in the poisoning incident or in Charger's disappearance.

Animal Control did turn this case over to the DA's office but it declined to file charges against Smith.

Shooting a dog, even with a BB gun, can be a felony if it is done with malicious intent.

On the other hand, the law does allow a homeowner to shoot and kill a dog that is attacking livestock or chickens.

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