FRANKLIN, Va. (WAVY) — A dog is being treated by a Chesapeake veterinarian after being hit by gunfire Tuesday in Franklin.
Authorities say Southampton County deputies were called to an area of Monroe Road, near Crater Drive, around 4 p.m. A caller said that someone was shooting at deer, and that a dog had been hit by gunfire.
Southampton Animal Control took the dog to an after-hours veterinarian in Chesapeake to be treated. Authorities say the dog’s front left leg had be amputated.
Arrangements are being made for a foster home to care for the dog while authorities look for the owner.
10 On Your Side has learned deer season for Southampton County is Nov. 19 through Jan. 7, according to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. This incident happened before then.
Lee Walker, the outreach director for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, says if a hunter is caught without a permit for the appropriate season, they can face fines or harsher punishments depending on the incident.
Walker says hunting season will be in full swing from November 19 to the end of the year. He says it’s important for hunters to remember to practice safety while outside to prevent other hunters and animals from being shot.
“A deer pops up. It may start running. Hunters get excited. They get focused on that deer and don’t see what’s behind it,” he said.
Walker says hunters should remember to always treat their weapon like it’s loaded and point the muzzle in a safe direction, away from unintended targets. He also says you should be aware of what’s surrounding the target.
“Be sure of your target and what’s behind your target. Before you shoot, make sure you know where the bullet strikes and you’re confident you won’t injure anyone beyond the target,” Walker said.
Walker says last year was the safest year on record for hunters in the state. He acknowledges much of it is due to safety classes they encourage people to attend. Walker says all hunters must have permits and follow rules.
“I can’t stress enough, if you can follow those three hunting safety tips, you’ll have a quality time in the outdoors,” he said. “You’ll stay safe, those around you will stay safe, and you’ll be able to enjoy another day of hunting.”
Animal Control is looking for any information on who may have shot the dog. Contact the Southampton Sheriff’s Office at 757-653-2100 or the Crime Line at 757-653-2900 if you know anything.