JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — For Rocky, it's been a long road to recovery.
The dog was shot in the face back in April, with the bullet going through his snout and bottom lip, into his neck and shoulder area, and through his left front leg. He had staples in his snout, a drain in his neck, a metal pin in his leg
Now he is enjoying his next chapter, recovering and enjoying his new family. An employee with the Flagler County Sheriff's Office decided to adopt the dog.
His previous owner, Jamier Lee-Bright, 25, was charged with felony cruelty to animals and tampering with physical evidence for allegedly shooting the dog, deputies said.
Several neighbors of Lee-Bright called 911 Saturday afternoon, claiming to have heard gun shots and dogs yelping, an FCSO police report shows.
When deputies made contact with Lee-Bright, he was exhibiting “concerning” behavior and had what appeared to be blood on his face, which he claimed was from shaving.
Officers also noticed a freshly dug hole in Lee-Bright’s backyard. The suspect said he was planting a new tree, but there were no new or unplanted trees on the scene, according to a report by the responding deputy.
Detectives were called to the scene.
Lee-Bright told detectives he was woken up by a family member screaming that the dog had bitten her. He retrieved his firearm, took the dog outside and shot it in the head, he said, according to the news release.
Lee-Bright said he dragged the dog back inside and locked it in its kennel. He attempted to clean the blood off his patio to prevent anyone from knowing what happened.
They were able to locate the dog, who was “visibly in pain,” deputies said. The investigation found that the dog was inside the kennel for over two hours before law enforcement arrived.
Responding deputy Bryan Frederick wrote in his report that officers transported the dog to Flagler Animal Hospital. The dog "lost consciousness on several occasions."
But there’s good news: The dog, Rocky, who was described by deputies as "medium male brindle shepherd/terrier mix," is going to be okay, FSCO said.
Fast-forward five weeks after the incident, Rocky has officially been adopted.
His new family says rocky loves playing in his yard and going on car rides.
They say he loves everyone he meets. And a little love goes a long way.
“He’s able to put weight on his leg now, but still hops when he tries to move quickly,” his adopter said. “He’s very playful, loves his toys, is great with our other dog, and loves everyone he meets. He’s never even growled at us, unlike his previous family claimed. A little love goes a long way!”