Local News

Dog survives being shot three times; charges will be filed

Posted April 19, 2012

— Vance County animal control officers said Thursday that they are pressing criminal charges against a man who shot a dog in Kittrell last week.

David Dwight Ellis Jr. shot the wirehaired terrier three times on April 11 after the animal had reportedly wandered around his neighborhood for two weeks and came close to his family's chicken coop, authorities said.

The 7-year-old dog named Jesse James, which belongs to Stanley Neal, survived the shooting and is recovering at an animal hospital.

Neal admitted that Jesse James roams the neighborhood, but said the dog is gentle.

"He's like a neighborhood dog. He would go down the street and visit other animals (and) people," Neal said.

Neal said that, when a neighbor told him Jesse James had been shot, he went out looking for the dog. He found the animal curled up in its doghouse with gunshot wounds to the face.

"It hurt because I've had him since he was a puppy," Neal said. "(The shooting) could have been prevented and I hope it doesn't happen to anybody else."

dog shot Roaming dog shot three times by neighbor in Kittrell

Janet Ellis, David Ellis Jr.'s mother, said the dog was shot as a last resort and that the animal had killed two of the family's chickens. She said her husband told her son to get a rifle and shoot the dog.

"We keep our dogs in our yard," Janet Ellis said. "Everybody is supposed to keep their dogs in their yard."

After one shot, Janet Ellis said, her son wanted to put the dog out of its misery.

"If my dog had went in your yard and destroyed your property and killed your animals or whatever and you shot my dog, (you) don't let it lay there until I get there," she said. "(You) go ahead and finish him off and then come and tell me."

Janet Ellis said that they wanted to scare the dog away and fired several warning shots in its direction over a two-week period. But the dog kept coming to their house, lurking near the family’s chickens and growling at the younger children, she said.

The dog did not have a collar or tags, she said.

"We're not dog killers. We didn't just shoot this dog out of the blue," Janet Ellis said.

Neal said Jesse James does wear a tag with the family's contact information on it. He denied that the animal killed the Ellis' chickens.


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  • quikdraw2 Apr 20, 2012


  • chowchowmom Apr 20, 2012

    I have three beautiful dogs (chows), a cat, a rabbit and two birds. Without argument the owner of the dog should be charged with negligence. There is no such thing as a neighborhood dog. I am quite certain that others in the neighborhood were annoyed as well. Pets should not infringe on neighbors at all. The homeowner that took the law into his own hands to protect his chickens should sue the owner of the dog for causing him so much stress that he broke and took matters into his own hands. The real victim here is the dog. He should be confiscated and remanded to a new loving home with a fence.

  • Alexia.1 Apr 20, 2012

    "There is a huge difference between a "pest" and an aggressive dog." --ccsmith1902

    Yeah, so? You can kill them both in the same way. If the dog is a pest, it should be killed. We're not talking being a pest as in being playful, but killing chickens... costing money... doing damage.

    Related to this, why is is OK to kill a deer, but not this dog? Why is it OK to kill a turkey, but not this dog? Why is it OK to kill a snake, destroy entire ant colonies, kill a wolf, etc., but not this dog?

    There seems to be no logic in these animal laws, but I'm happy for somebody to explain the logic. I have never shot an animal, but if it were killing my chickens, I might very well do the same thing. If I had chickens... ;-)

  • itsmyownopinion Apr 20, 2012

    I don't know if this happened in the city/town limits, but is there not a law against discharging a gun in city limits unless in self-defense?

  • ufcx3 Apr 20, 2012

    Emawalton, I agree with you 100%. Did they not know they were going to get charged? what a dumb move.
    Next time something like this occurs, call animal control. Thats what they are for.SMH

  • sunneyone2 Apr 20, 2012

    emawalton, THANK YOU. What you said is spot on.

  • fishon Apr 20, 2012

    If you just wanted to scare him off, try using a BB or paintball gun. Not pleasant but not deadly.

    Actually this is also a bad idea. BB's and paintball pellets generally move slower than the speed of sound. When the animal looks up from the sound of the gun firing the pellet can hit them in the face.

    If you want the animal dead then shoot it to kill it. Otherwise any projectile other than water from a hose or squirtgun is a bad idea.

  • North Carolina Cutie Apr 20, 2012

    This person will get more time than Zimmerman for shooting Travon Martin.

  • freedomrings Apr 20, 2012

    emawalton : A BB of paint gun doesn't always work. There was a beautiful hound dog that would visit us and although he was great with chickens and other dogs, he tried to kill cats. I let the owner know and the dog would still come over almost everyday. I brought out my pellet gun and shot it over his head several times and he didn't flinch. Finally let the owner know I thought someone was going to shoot him, and he never came back.

  • Ambygirl Apr 20, 2012

    emawalton you are the essence of common sense! What a breathe of fresh air! Thank you for the best post of the day!