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Dog survives being shot three times; charges will be filed

Animal control officers said Thursday that they are pressing criminal charges against a man who shot a dog last week.

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KITTRELL, N.C. — 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."

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.



Beau Minnick, Reporter
Caitlin Zanga, Web Editor
Bridget Whelan, Web Editor

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