Family dog killed by hunter's arrow

Published: Dec. 17, 2018 at 9:17 PM CST
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A Bethel family is urging hunters to heed their emotional plea: Know what you’re targeting before releasing your arrow.

On Thursday evening, Scott Fuller called his two boxer dogs in from outside. When only one of them returned, he searched his neighborhood for the other. Eventually, the family’s younger dog led Fuller to the body of his other boxer, Hera.

“Looks like she’d gotten up for one more try. Got another two or three feet, and that’s where she died,” he said, adding that the arrow that hit her “was one of the mechanical Broadheads, so it caught her on the top and cut really deep.”

Fuller tracked the 6-year-old dog’s blood to a clearing, where he found the arrow and also spotted a deer stand. Fuller said he later learned a hunter had admitted to shooting the dog after aiming for a buck.

“After the buck ran, there pops up Hera. It sounds like he said at first, he thought it might have been a coyote. But this is what he says. Then he shot, and he could hear it was clearly a dog. I don’t buy it, because I saw the stand and I saw the shooting range. I mean, Hera looks nothing like a coyote,” he said, also noting: “He just shot her. And he didn’t even bother to look.”

A spokesman for the Anoka County Sheriff’s Department confirmed for KARE 11 they are reviewing the case, but they’re not sure if charges will follow. A Minnesota Department of Natural Resources spokesman also confirmed that people are not allowed to shoot at a dog – even if the animal is chasing a deer – at this time of year, according to the department’s hunting regulations.

The Fuller family says they recognize the rights of hunters. They just ask that those armed with a weapon use caution before letting the bullets – or arrows – fly.

“I’m a hunter myself. I’ve got nothing against them hunting there. But you’d think if you were in a development – that close to a development – you see someone’s dog, you don’t just shoot it,” Fuller said.

“It could’ve happened to anyone’s pet. Any dog could have been out there. Any cat could have been out there. A kid could have been out there,” agreed Christina Fuller, who described Hera as “my baby.”

“We’d lay them next to each other just to compare their size, because she was a small boxer,” Christina added, referring to how they’d photograph Hera alongside their three children, ages 4 months to 4 years old.

“She had a big heart. She was really sweet to the kids. They’d climb on them and all that sort of stuff,” she said.

But she also noted that there’s one family member likely missing Hera even more: “Zeus doesn’t know life without her. And seeing him sad is almost as sad as seeing the kids or having our hearts broken.”