Police seek suspect who shot and killed Richmond family’s dog

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A family dog was shot and killed in its own backyard, and now investigators are trying to find the person responsible.

It happened at around 7 p.m. on 4th Avenue, between Juniper and Spruce streets, on Richmond’s northside.

The incident has left the community outraged because, if you have a dog, you’ve probably done exactly what one Richmond family did Tuesday night: They let their Miniature Pinscher out to use the bathroom.

But when 17-pound pup didn’t come back, they found him dying from a gunshot wound.

(Photo of a Miniature Pinscher)

“What monster is going to shoot a dog?” questioned Melissa Vaughn, who can’t comprehend why someone shot her neighbor’s dog Tuesday night. “We heard a really loud pop, just one really loud pop, and my husband ran downstairs and I was like, ‘was that what I thought it was?’ And he said, ‘oh, that’s got to be what you thought it was.'”

Not long after, an animal control officer told Vaughn and her husband what had happened, and warned them to watch out for their own dog’s safety.

They said to monitor your dogs,” she said. “Stay outside with them when they go to the bathroom. Talk so that somebody can hear you back there.”

According to investigators, the owners let their pup out in the backyard to use the bathroom at around 7 p.m. A short time later, they heard a gunshot and found their dying dog.

“We feel like it’s probably deliberate, and so we need folks to talk to us about this,” Rob Leinberger with Richmond Animal Control said. “We want to find out why did this happen.”

Animal control officers are imploring people who live in the area to come forward if they heard something, saw something or know something.

“If somebody is doing this to an animal, would they do this to a human being? A child? An adult? Somebody else?” Leinberger added. “So we wanna talk with people in the community about this and we certainly want to talk with the person that did this.”

Investigators ask anyone with information to give them a call at (804) 646-5573.

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