Jacob Carter, his fiance Robin Musser, and a few other family members were out hunting for mushrooms Thursday in the Bluffwoods Conservation Area just south of St. Joseph.
The group was just finishing up when they heard gunshots.
"We heard two gunshots, and we were coming on out anyway and stuff, getting ready to pack up and leave," said Carter.
Musser said the gunfire didn't worry them since it's common during turkey hunting season.
"We'd seen a turkey earlier, thought maybe someone was shooting at the turkey," she said.
As they were driving out of the woods, something caught Musser's eye.
"We were coming down the road and I spotted the dog and thought it was a puppy," said Musser.
Carter pulled over to go see if the dog was okay.
As he walked closer he noticed it was an adult dog that wasn't moving, and then he saw blood.
"That's when I noticed that she was shot, so I took my shirt off and started applying pressure," said Carter.
The white female pitbull had been shot twice: once in the back of the head and once through her ear.
Musser called over some other people who had also been hunting mushrooms in the area. They helped Carter carry the dog to his car.
The couple began calling animal shelters and veterinarians in the area but said no one would help them after-hours or were asking for hundreds of dollars up-front.
It was money they didn't have, so the group took to Facebook, pleading on several pet pages.
Joanna Phillips-Bidondo, a volunteer with Unleashed Pet Rescue, saw the post.
Phillips-Bidondo drove to St. Joseph and picked up the dog, transporting it to Angels Vet in Savannah and later to Blue Pearl Emergency Pet Hospital in Overland Park.
"Her skull is fractured, her jaw is totally shattered. She's going to have a very long road of recovery ahead of her," said Jessica Bennett, Foster and Volunteer Manager with Unleashed Pet Rescue.
Angels Vet is offering a $1,000 reward to anyone with information about the shooting.
"She's a beautiful dog. I don't understand why anyone would shoot her. I mean she didn't deserve that," said Musser.
The Buchanan County Sheriff's Department is investigating and anyone with information is asked to call (816) 271-4777.
Unleashed Pet Rescue is also collecting donations to help with medical bills for the dog.
Copyright 2023 by Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.