AUSTIN (KXAN) — A story is spreading on social media about a family dog shot by a neighbor in southwest Austin.
Pictures Halle Rossi posted of her injured 2-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever, Ryley, are getting thousands of likes and retweets. A man tells KXAN he shot Ryley Wednesday when the dog was in his yard, running toward him in attack mode.
“Three [bullets] actually hit my dog. One grazed his shoulder, another entered his abdomen and the worst one went through his rear end,” said Rossi, whose dog is recovering at a local veterinarian after having surgery.
KXAN learned Ryley, along with one of Rossi’s other dogs, Trinity — Ryley’s mother — is on the city of Austin’s dangerous dog list. The dogs were added to the list because of an encounter last November with the man who recently shot Ryley.
The neighbor says he was bitten on the leg by one of the yellow labs, and on that same day his son, who was 6-years-old at the time, was attacked by the two dogs. One of the dogs bit the boy on the ankle while walking down to a friend’s house. The dogs’ owners were not home at the time, and another neighbor pulled the dog off the boy.
During an Animal Control hearing, a judge deemed both dogs dangerous. The Rossi family was required to post “beware of dog” signs, add special red tags to their dogs’ collars and make sure the dogs were not running loose again.
Rossi says her front door didn’t latch properly when she was leaving the house on Wednesday, and that’s how the two dogs got out onto Conifer Cove.
Despite the ruling, Rossi and her family do not believe the dogs are dangerous and question the actions of their neighbor.
“Not a Labrador,” said Rossi. “[Ryley] is just a chicken and the sweetest dog in the world.”
The man who shot Ryley tells KXAN he carries a concealed handgun at all times, and decided to shoot the dog because the he appeared to be attacking him. The dog did not make physical contact before the shots were fired. He says the other dog, Trinity, was also in his backyard at the time.
At least one other neighbor says he is scared for the safety of his three young sons, and hopes the city “does the right thing” to keep the neighborhood safe.
A report was filed with Austin police. The detective assigned to the case just started looking over the report Friday, and will be interviewing everyone involved.