‘A good dog that didn’t deserve this’: Anchorage dog recovering after being shot

Published: Jan. 29, 2021 at 10:06 AM AKST|Updated: Jan. 29, 2021 at 12:05 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - On Jan. 13, Nick Moe said he let his black lab, Trygg, out to the small trail behind his condo near Spenard when he heard a bang. His dog had been shot.

According to an Anchorage Police Department spokesperson, police took one of Moe’s neighbor’s into custody for shooting the dog with a handgun. The neighbor was initially charged with fourth-degree misconduct involving a weapon and reckless endangerment.

Moe and the neighbor live in the same complex with a large shared yard and common area. The dog was off-leash at the time, according to Moe, the shooter and police, which is allowed under the condo association’s current policy.

In 2018, the association made an amendment to their pet policies allowing for dogs to be off leash so long as they are under voice command, according to a document obtained by Alaska’s News Source.

“I didn’t even hear any barking or growling. I didn’t even hear yelling, like ‘shoo’ or ‘go on dog’ or anything. All I heard was the bang,” Moe said.

Moe said he was taking out his family’s Christmas tree around the side of the condo when the shooting happened. He said his 5-year-old daughter was outside as well.

After police took the neighbor into custody, the Anchorage District Attorney’s office said he was released back to his home because no charges were filed at the time of his arraignment. Now, the office said in an email that they are reviewing the case.

Moe said he was very uncomfortable that his neighbor was back in his home after the shooting. When Alaska’s News Source reporters went to the condo complex, nobody was at the neighbor’s home.

The neighbor answered phone calls from Alaska’s News Source, but declined to do a recorded interview. The only comment he offered was, “All I can say is that the dog was attacking my wife in my backyard and the dog got shot.”

According to a police department spokesperson, the neighbor’s dog was also outside in a small pen, which was enclosed with four-foot steel wire, when Moe’s lab ran up to the fence before the shooting.

The bullet hit Trygg in the neck, but Moe said veterinarians believe the dog is going to be OK.

“The bullet missed both jugular veins. It missed his spine; it missed his throat. It just went through a lot of the muscle tissue in his neck,” he said.

The bullet went clean through, but Moe said when the bullet exited it hit Trygg’s left paw, doing significant damage. There are a few staples closing the entrance wound and about 20 closing the exit wound. The dog will be in a cast for several more weeks.

“The first bill was $4,700 that we got and then $1,800 for the paw,” Moe said.

After the shooting, a different neighbor set up a GoFundMe page where thousands of dollars poured in for Trygg’s vet bills.

“I think there’s a lot of people who know, like, dogs don’t deserve to be shot — even if they’re getting into trouble usually,” Moe said.

Moe is glad that his dog is going to make it, but he doesn’t think it should be the other neighbors paying for the costs. He said he wants an appropriate punishment for what happened and for the person responsible to pay for his dog’s medical bills.

If that happens, Moe said he plans on giving the money raised through the GoFundMe to organizations that specialize in helping abused animals.

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