Dog shot in backyard; family takes action to alert Kirkland neighborhood
By MATT PHELPS
Kirkland Reporter Regional Assistant Editor
June 28, 2010 · Updated 3:27 PM
When Belinda Blackshear came home Thursday to let her two dogs in from the side yard, her six-year-old dog Toby, a miniature pinscher, was not himself. The normally energetic dog slowly came to her from the side of the house after repeated calls.
"His head was down and he was just lifeless," said Blackshear.
Her son, Judge Farmer, picked up the dog and within minutes he was covered in blood. Judge took the dog to a bathroom inside the house, washed the blood off and found a puncture wound.
The Blackshear family left the dogs in their small backyard on Thursday between 4-6 p.m. when Toby was shot, at close range, by a BB gun.
"Our dog could have died," said Belinda, on Friday afternoon. "I was a wreck. I think we are all still in shock. It is still touch and go with Toby."
The family rushed the dog to Animal Emergency Service - East where the dog underwent surgery for the wound on Thursday night. The BB punctured the dog's lung, kidney and spleen and could not be removed. The dog is expected to survive. The surgery cost the family $2,300 and Toby will have to remain at the vet until at least Tuesday.
"I can't imagine someone would do this in broad daylight," said Belinda, who is afraid to let the family's second dog, Bailey, go outside alone.
The home is three blocks north of the Kirkland Police Department in the Market neighborhood and the family sees "60 police cars up and down the road every day." The family has lived in the home for less than two years.
"This seems like a really nice neighborhood," said Judge. "It is hard to believe."
The family said they have had a few complaints about the dogs barking in the past, but didn't think their neighbors would shoot the dog.
Belinda plans to take a flier to houses in the area to alert other families of the incident. The family and police are currently looking for the perpetrator.
"I would encourage parents to talk to their kids," said Belinda.
She is also worried that someone else could get hurt, as there are small children in a nearby house, she said.
The family was pleased with the police response to the incident and police told the family Toby was shot at close range.
"It scares me that someone might have got into our backyard," said Belinda.
The perplexing side of the incident is that the side yard of the house is pretty secluded. The house neighboring to the east is under construction from a fire last October. That house, along with another house neighboring to the north, have large wood fences that separate the yards. Someone would have to shoot through the fence to get close enough to do the damage that Toby sustained.
"I am on a rampage. I want everyone talked to on that job site," said Belinda, referring to the house to the east.
The homeowner of that house has not lived there in months, but the family said that construction workers are there all the time.
To the west, the back yard is set back from the street with a front yard, a garden and a small three-foot-high iron fence.
Bailey, the family's second dog that was also in the backyard at the time of the shooting, was also shaken by the incident.
The family does not know why one dog was targeted and not the other.
"Toby looks a little more vicious," said Judge, about the demure dog. "He can scare you. He likes to show his teeth."
Anyone with information about this crime is urged to call the Kirkland Police Department at 425-587-3400.Contact Kirkland Reporter Regional Assistant Editor Matt Phelps at email@example.com or 425-822-9166 ext. 5052.