A string of dog shootings in eastern Iowa is under investigation. All of the shootings have happened within the past two weeks in the Vinton-Shellsburg area of Benton County. On Monday night, Devon Schrim was driving on a county road when she spotted a dog with multiple gunshot wounds lying in a ditch.
“I saw a vehicle pulled over on a gravel road and I saw a dog not walking right,” Schrim said. “He was gasping for air and foaming at the mouth and he just wasn’t right.”
The dog, Griff, had been shot four times – once in the leg, twice in the chest and once on top of his head. Benton County Animal Control Officer Garrett Wittmer says another dog was recently shot in the tail and yet another was shot in the shoulder.
He says the families who own the dogs are in shock. “It’s horrible. It’s devastating to a family. For most of us, (the dog) is treated like a brother, sister or child. It can be devastating,” Wittmer said.
All three of the injured dogs, including Griff, are expected to survive. Veterinarians aren’t sure if Griff was shot with a .22 caliber gun or a pellet gun because the bullets are still lodged in his body. Investigators don’t know who’s doing the shooting or if several people are involved.
“It might be just a coincidence that it’s happening, but right now we’re just not sure, not clear,” Wittmer said. The Benton County Sheriff’s office is investigating the cases and advises dog owners in the area to keep a close eye their pets .
By Nadia Crow, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids