VANCE COUNTY, N.C. (WNCN) — The Humane Society is offering $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of whoever is responsible for shooting a dog in Vance County, according to a news release.
Vance County Animal Control responded to a call about a dog shot around 4 p.m. on Dec. 16. They found Bella — a year-and-a-half-old mixed-breed dog — with a gunshot wound to the front of her chest, the release said.
For Brisia Felix, Bella is her pride and joy.
“My grandma gave Bella to me last Christmas,” Felix said. “I was crying because I didn’t expect my grandma to bring me a dog.”
But nearly two weeks ago, Felix was at work when the unthinkable happened.
Felix said Bella was chained within their fenced yard when a man walked by and shot Bella, then pointed the gun toward the owners. The man said he would come back and kill them if they contacted law enforcement, the release said.
“When I saw my dog, I was just in tears,” Felix said. “I couldn’t believe how someone was going to hurt my dog when they didn’t do anything to them.”
Vance County Animal Services rushed Bella to a local veterinarian, where she was treated for a collapsed lung.
“The first night, we didn’t know whether she was going to make it or not,” Vance County Animal Services Chief Frankie Nobles said.
After a week of recovery at the veterinarian and animal shelter, Bella went home two days before Christmas.
“It means a lot to me for her to be home Christmas,” Felix said.
Nobles reached out to the Humane Society to help set up the reward to find the shooter.
“I want to prove to people that you can’t do this just to an innocent animal,” Nobles said. “It’s horrible. There was no reason to do what happened to this dog. The dog was in a fenced-in yard, on a chain. It couldn’t get to the gentleman, and he just intentionally shot her.”
Felix is thankful for the support and hopes justice is found soon.
“As it happened to my puppy, it could happen to any puppy,” she said. “It’s not fair.”
Bella is expected to make a full recovery.
Vance County Sheriff’s Office investigators describe the suspect as a black male, about 18-20 years old. Authorities said he was last wearing a black shirt and black pants, and last seen walking towards Harris Street in Henderson.
Anyone with information should contact Nobles at FNobles@vancecounty.org or Vance County Sheriff’s Office Detective Will Bartholomew at Wbartholomew@vancecounty.org.