Neighbor shoots, kills family's pet dog in Ocala

Animal Services investigates shooting

OCALA, Fla. - A family's small dog was shot and killed by a neighbor, prompting Marion County Animal Services to launch an animal cruelty investigation.

Reba Mixon says it took six hours for deputies to arrive to her family's residential neighborhood in Ocala after hearing a gunshot.  Nixon and her family were on their front porch for a birthday celebration Sunday when they heard the loud noise.

"We were there for a couple minutes when we heard a gunshot and a dog yelp," said Nixon.

Anna Wildeon, Mixon's niece, ran over to her neighbor's fence and saw their 12-year-old dog they affectionately called "Ms. P" running from her neighbor's back yard.

The Jack Russel miniature Dachshund mix had been shot in a major artery in her leg.

"She didn't make any kind of sound or anything, she just stopped breathing," Mixon told Local 6.

The family said they called 911 multiple times, but no one came to their house.

"They should have come out here for a shot being fired.  They didn't know it was a pellet gun," said Mixon. "Animal control dropped the ball, the Sheriff's Department dropped the ball, because they should have been here."

The family posted the incident on Facebook, which caught the attention of Marion County Sheriff Chris Blair. Shortly after that, deputies arrived -- six hour after the shot had been fired.

In the Sheriff's Office report, deputies said Danny Rodgers appeared to be intoxicated and later admitted that he saw some kind of animal in his back yard and without thinking, shot it with his pellet gun.

The Sheriff's Office told Local 6 it was an unfortunate accident and because the dog was on someone else's property, Rodgers won't face charges.

They also told the family they are investigating why it took so long to respond to the 911 call.

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