VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A dog is recovering in the Pungo area after his owner says he was shot at close range.
The incident happened in the Blackwater area of Pungo in Virginia Beach. Charlie Grimstead was hunting on his private land with his eight beagles when his dog, Shorty, was suddenly shot.
Shorty, a 5-year-old beagle, hops and hobbles around on three legs, eager to get into his owners hunting truck. However, Shorty's hunting days came to a tragic end this past Saturday.
"I got a call that my dog was hit," Grimstead says as tears flow down his face.
Grimstead was using Shorty and his seven other beagles to hunt deer on the private hunting land.
News 3 went with Grimstead to the woods where Shorty was shot. Grimstead says the shooting was no accident.
"One pellet hit him right above elbow - shattered the bone so bad they couldn't save it," he said. "I broke down and started crying. They are family to us; these dogs are more than just hunting dogs."
Grimstead believes someone was perched on the edge their leased land and intentionally tried to shoot Shorty at close range. The Conservation Police says it was less than 50 yards away.
"You don't harm an innocent animal because you don't like it - you just don't. I mean, look at him," said Grimstead.
Looking at those big, brown eyes and change in Shorty's stance is enough to bring a grown man to tears.
"He is a miracle," he said. "It breaks my heart to look at him this way and to know that he has to live the rest of his life like this."
Shorty had to have his leg amputated, but he will be OK.
"He will never run again, but he will be riding in that front seat with me. He's gonna be my shotgun rider until God takes him from me," said Grimstead.
There is a reward of $2,500 for information that leads police to an arrest.