Dog Shot Through Face in Middle of Custody Battle

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BONNE TERRE, Mo. — A man who says his dog “Hunter” was stolen from him in March is now fighting to get the dog back from the family who says they rescued him and have renamed him “Bullet.”

In March, Hunter (or Bullet) was shot with a rifle and was starving, when a police officer found him and rescued him. The dog was nursed back to health and then adopted.

It sounds like it should be a happy ending, but now a Washington County, Missouri man has come forward saying the dog was stolen from him and he wants him back.

“I love this dog.  It’s my life,” said Travis Moussette, the dog’s original owner.

The dog is a pit bull and was found about 10 miles away from his original home. A rifle shot went through his back and out through his face. The dog had no tags;  no microchip.

(Click here for FOX2now’s video of the dog.)

“He’s attached to my hip,” said Melissa Johnston, with the dog she called Bullet.

Johnston adopted Bullet from the Canines in Crisis shelter in De Soto, which took the dog in, and covered his vet bills.

“He’s a lucky boy,” said Jeri Schnelker of Canines in Crisis.

“I’m surprised he’s alive.  He shouldn’t have been alive.  He was almost dead when they found him,” Johnston said.

“I  would think he would be blessed to know that his dog has got a good home, has been medically taken care of, is alive.  My heart goes out to the family.  If they loved the dog they would have taken proper precautions to keep him safe,” Schnelker said.

“Bring my dog back.  Give him back.  I love him, too.  You might love him.  I love him more…I love that dog to death.  I’ve had him for a long time.  He’s born on my birthday,” pleaded Moussette.

“I feel that if someone truly cared about a pet, they would have some kind of identification, microchips, anything like that.  He had no identification.  When he was found, they were going to euthanize him…I’m going to keep him,” Johnston said.

Moussette admitted Hunter did not have tags or a microchip ID;  he was not neutered.  But he did have all his shots and a lot of love, even going to work with Moussette every day,  with his boss’s approval.   Johnston hasn’t ruled out letting Moussette visit,  but said the dog was legally hers, now.

Moussette said he understood that , but he hoped Johnston would reconsider.



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