Las Vegas shooting victims lose comfort dog by gunshot

A Washington couple survived the Las Vegas shooting last year, only to have their dog shot by their neighbor.

The couple’s neighbor, Odin Maxwell, said the dog was chasing his chickens.

Lona and Joseph Jackson live near Bellingham, Wash., and were at the Jason Aldean concert in Las Vegas last October where 58 people were killed and hundreds injured. They were not harmed, but their cousin was shot in the face, though she survived.

To deal with the stress of the event, they got a Labradoodle puppy named Jax.

“He gave us love and comfort with his playfulness and snuggles,” Lona Jackson told People Magazine. “In the short time he was with us he helped us through some of our most trying times. He was a godsend.”

But on Sunday, Sept. 2, Jax was roaming on a neighbor’s property, and Maxwell shot at him with a single round of birdshot from a shotgun.

“He had been shot in the side,” Whatcom County Chief Deputy Kevin Hester told People. “He came back across to the road to his owners and passed away there … a member of the family saw the dog come back into the front yard and collapse there.”

While no chickens were actually found harmed, deputies issued a criminal citation for Maxwell on a misdemeanor count of aiming or discharging a firearm. That means he was behaving recklessly and irresponsibly with a gun, which could have “posed a danger to passing traffic, bicyclists and occupied houses across the street,” according to Hester.

On your own property, it is allowed to shoot a dog in order to protect yourself, your family, or your livestock. Most of the time BB shot works well enough to scare the intruder away without actually harming it.

“We were completely devastated and heartbroken,” Jackson told People. “It was an unnecessary act of violence that could have been avoided by a simple conversation.”

This scenario is a fairly common occurrence in rural areas, though that makes it no less sad in this case.

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