Family says pet dog was shot

December 31, 2009 2:46:15 PM PST
Was it an accident or intentional? That's what a Wake County family is trying to figure out after someone killed their dog.

While the investigation continues, the family is questioning whether current hunting laws offer enough protection.

Darren and Diana Stevens say their pet Labrador Retriever was shot in their backyard on Landingham Drive in Willow Spring.

"He was the sweetest dog. I called him Lovey Dovey," Diana told ABC11 Eyewitness News.

The Lab's name was Monster - not for his personally but for his size. He was the pick of the litter and won the Stevens' hearts.

They heard the shot that took his life.

"I yelled into the house 'Monster's been shot, he's dead call 911.' I went back on the ATV to see if I could see anybody and couldn't see anybody," said Darren.

"I just have a big hole in my heart right now. I big hole in my life," said Diana.

And they have big questions. Who did it? Was it a neighbor mad about their barking dogs or a hunter who was unaware of where the property lines fall on the big lots along Landingham drive.

The law allows hunting in some parts of the county on a person's property - right up to the property line.

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison - a hunter himself - says hunters need to be aware of their surroundings and residents should call in any concerns.

"I don't think the laws need to be changed," he told ABC11. "We've had animals killed by hunters and we've had hunters shot because of accidents and accidents will happen but they have the right to hunt if they have permission."

While the officers investigate the shooting, the Stevens want the law re-examined.

"Someone living in a residential subdivision with children and pets should be able to use their property without having the fear that someone's going to come along and shoot one of them. It just totally shocked me that something like this could happen," said Darren.

"It was like losing one of my kids," said Diana.

The Stevens are not against guns and not against hunting. They say they just don't think it should be allowed so close to a residential community.

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