Currituck County, NC - Cara and Joey Delia's beloved pit bull Diesel will always be in his favorite spot, buried under the weeping willow in their front yard.
"He was killed senselessly," Joey Delia says.
The Delias say their neighbor on Chamberlain Lane, John Meadows, shot and killed Diesel last week.
"I started to walk down to the guy's house and I heard two loud shot gun shots,” Joey recalls.
Joey says Diesel was with him outside Wednesday afternoon and wasn't tied up when he wandered into Meadows’ yard.
The Currituck County Sheriff's Office says Meadows told animal control officers that Diesel lunged at him, and shot him in self-defense.
"If he even remotely approached Mr. Meadows, it wasn't in an aggressive way,” Joey says. “He wanted everybody to pet him. He wanted attention."
Meadows has been charged with injury to personal property; however, the Delias worry that their dog's death may have been in retaliation. The day before, they called police on Meadows for shooting a weapon in his yard.
"He was shot because he was a pit bull and because the fellow was mad at me," Joey says.
NewsChannel 3 reached out to Meadows at his home, but no one came to the door.
The Delias admit Diesel should have been tied up, but say they don't understand why he died so senselessly.
"We are in the wrong for letting the dog walk down there again, but that dog did not deserve that," Cara says.
"He was everything to us," Joey says.