Three Dogs Shot Over The Past Two Weeks in Benton County

By Nadia Crow, Reporter

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By Aaron Hepker

VINTON, Iowa — A string of shootings has left animal control officers warning pet owners to keep a close eye on their dogs. The shootings are happening in the Vinton-Shellsburg area of Benton County. On Monday night, a driver spotted a dog with multiple gunshot wounds lying in a ditch off the corner of 30th Avenue Drive and County Home Road.

This isn’t the first time this has happened. Monday night’s incident makes three shootings in the past two weeks. One dog shot in the tail, another shot in the shoulder, and the most recent dog, shot four times, including once in the head.

Griff loves attention and can’t wait for the next belly rub. He couldn’t possibly be having a better day. Especially considering he got shot four times Monday night. “I saw the vehicle pulled over on a gravel road and I saw a dog not walking right,” said Devon Schrim who found Griff. So Devon Schrim turned her car around and found Griff lying in a ditch. “He was gasping for air and foaming at the mouth and he just wasn’t right,” said Schrim.

It wasn’t long before she noticed the gunshot wounds; one through his knee cap, two in his chest that ultimately punctured his lung, and one right on the top of his head. That bullet sits just behind his eye.

Griff is now recovering at the Vinton Veterinary Clinic. Vets don’t know if it was a .22 caliber gun or a pellet gun because the bullets are still in Griff. “It’s horrible. It’s devastating to a family. We treat it like a brother, sister, daughter. It can be devastating,” said Animal Control Officer Garrett Wittmer.

Animal Control Officer Garrett Wittmer said it’s happened to three dogs in the past two weeks. Wittmer says they don’t know who’s doing it or if it’s all the same person. “It might be just a coincidence that it’s happening but right now we’re just not sure, not clear,” said Wittmer.

But Wittmer says it’s time for everyone to watch out. “Keep your animals closer to home. Keep them locked up or chained up or whatever you have to do,” said Wittmer.

Griff and the other two dogs that were shot in the past two weeks are all expected to be okay. Griff will soon have a few surgeries, but some of the bullets will stay in his body because it’s too risky to take them out. The Benton County Sheriff’s Office is investigating.
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