Police probe dog shooting

(Original publication: May 16, 2003)

Jon and Michele Edenholm got home around 10 p.m. on Mother's Day to see a trail of blood in their garage.

They followed it and found their 5-year-old German shepherd mix, a male named Fella, lying in the corner in a pool of blood.

Initially, Edenholm thought that the dog he and his wife adopted three years ago from the Putnam County Humane Society had been hit by a car. But, when he got closer, he heard a sucking sound as Fella breathed and found a gunshot wound in the dog's side.

Frantic, Edenholm rushed his dog to the Katonah Bedford Veterinary Center, where it underwent emergency surgery Sunday night by Dr. Allison Aull. The dog had been shot on its right side, and one of its lungs collapsed. It was bleeding internally. Aull pulled a slug out of the dog's side.

Fella remained at the hospital for a few days and is now home, recovering. Edenholm, 41, is administering antibiotics to Fella to ensure that the wound, which was closed with staples, doesn't become infected. The staples are due to come out next week.

Edenholm, who took vacation time from his job at Verizon this week to stay home with Fella, said his usually active dog is far from showing his normal liveliness.

"We just have to keep him from getting too excited. The doctor said he should eventually get back to normal," he said.

Edenholm, 41, who lives on 3 secluded acres near Sagamore Lake, said he and his wife always let the dog roam and would leave the garage door open when they were out.

"Our neighbors are like family. They know Fella, and no one ever had any problems with him. I'd hate to think that someone intentionally shot him," Edenholm said.

Police, meanwhile, are investigating. Officer Tara Flynn is handling the case.

"If we find who did this, we will seek appropriate charges," Lt. Alex DiVernieri said yesterday.

The surgery cost $6,000, Edenholm said, "But I would have paid $60,000. That's how much Fella means to us."

Edenholm said he will install a fence around his front yard that will allow Fella to roam but keep him from straying. He acknowledges that he was wrong to let the dog roam, but said it was sad to think that someone may have shot Fella intentionally.

"This is an unfortunate lesson: Don't assume your dog won't get hurt if it runs outside," he said. "I'd hate to think this was intentional. Because if it was, then what's next?"


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Wednesday, January 5, 2005