If the headline to this story seems to lack any discernible logic, that is because it does. None of which is any consolation to Stacey Ernat, of Des Moines, Iowa, whose beloved four-footed companion Wrigley was shot to death on Christmas Day. The reason given by the shooter: The dog was trespassing on his property.
Station WHO reports that the day had started routinely enough. Ernat had gone to the home of friends to celebrate the holiday and had taken her 1-year old chocolate lab with her.
Wrigley and her friends’ dog were romping in the snow, harming no one, when the door of a neighboring home opened and the occupant emerged with a shotgun. He fired a round, hitting Wrigley squarely in the flank. The dog, confused and frightened, attempted to flee.
Ernat tearfully told reporters what happened next:
I ran up there and I found her under a boat trailer that was lifted off the ground. She was curled up in a ball, really scared and confused about why she was hurt so bad….So I picked her up and I held her and I told her it was gonna be okay.
But it wasn’t okay. Wrigley died of her wounds a few hours later at a vet’s office.
The shooter, identified as Colins Cutler, admitted to firing off the shot because he didn’t want the dog playing in his yard. He received a summons for discharging a firearm in the town. On Wednesday an aggravated misdemeanor charge of animal abuse was also added. Cutler is expected to appear in court in January.
Says a grief-stricken Stacey Ernat:
I just wish he would have thought about what he was doing because I wouldn’t be here right now. I wouldn’t be heartbroken without my best friend.
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