Oregon family outraged after neighbor shot therapy dog

SHERWOOD, Ore. (KOIN) — A family is confused, angry and heartbroken after their dog was shot by a neighbor.

‘It’s just been so traumatic for us,” said owner Mary Farr.

Sonny is a therapy dog for Iraq war vet Josh Fonzi (Courtesy of Josh Fonzi)
Sonny is a therapy dog for Iraq war vet Josh Fonzi (Courtesy of Josh Fonzi)

Sonny, a 15-month-old German Shepard, is a therapy dog for Josh Fonzi, an Iraq war veteran.

“Completely unnecessary,” Fonzi said. “I consider it attempted murder of a child. He’s like my child.”

This all happened at the family’s home in Clackamas County, just outside Sherwood, where they have only lived for about a week.

The neighbor, Marv Abe, says he had no choice but to shoot Sonny, because he found him and the family’s other dog near his turkeys. Abe said the dogs weren’t in the turkey cage, but they were “harassing the turkeys.”

Abe says he’s already lost 7 turkeys this year.

“I tried yelling at them and I didn’t want to lose any more birds,” Abe told KOIN 6 News.

Sonny’s family see the situation much differently.

“This fellow that shot him, he wanted to shoot the dog,” Fonzi said. “He had many other options.”

“He’s actually the first dog I’ve ever had,” said Hope Farr. “If he dies at this age, I’d be very unhappy with that neighbor.”

Sonny is currently at Dove Lewis, where he looks a lot different than his normal, playful self.

“Usually when dogs come in with this extent of injuries, they don’t make it to the hospital,” said Dr. Amy Butler at Dove Lewis.

15-month-old German Shepard Sonny was seriously injured when a neighbor shot him. (Courtesy of Joshua Fonzi)
15-month-old German Shepard Sonny was seriously injured when a neighbor shot him. (Courtesy of Joshua Fonzi)

“Sonny sustained some pretty serious injuries to the soft tissue of his neck,” Butler told KOIN. “He also has some nerve damage in his neck. He had a collapsed lung related to a bullet fragment in his chest and he possibly has a concussive injury to his spinal cord.”

For now, veterinarians will be keeping an eye on him 24/7. His family is optimistic that they will be able to bring him home soon.

“We love our guy, he’s the life of the party,” said Farr. “We’re confident he’ll pull through this.”

The family has set up a GoFundMe for vet expenses.

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