VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Efforts are underway to find the person who has been shooting pellets from an air gun into a backyard. The home is located in the Heron’s Roost neighborhood.
On Nov. 16, the shooting led to the death of a family pet named Titus.
“I was totally shocked. My wife nearly passed out at the airport when we heard that,” said Mike Dillon, recounting the moment when they heard their 3-year-old Schnoodle was dead.
Titus was a rescue and affectionate lapdog.
“He would jump right into my lap,” Dillon said, bowing his head.
Dillon gave 10 On Your Side the X-rays that clearly show the pellets in all four of his dogs. Titus died, but three others lived, including Dixie, Sugar Bear, and Sundance. All the dogs are rescue animals.
“The pellet went into Titus’ lung, and he bled to death,” Dillon said.
Dixie’s X-ray shows the dog was hit by pellets three or four times.
They found four pellets in Sundance.
“He has at least a pellet up in here, another one in the hip, one on the other side,” Dillon told us, pointing to different parts of Sundance’s body.
Sugar Bear, a Great Pyrenees, was riddled with pellets.
“I think he had nine pellets in him in various places spread all over this body. Poor dog,” Dillon said.
Dillon said and the X-ray doesn’t lie.
A police report was filed, but Dillon says the case was handed over from police to Animal Control since an air-soft gun is not considered a firearm.
“The police department backed out of it since it was not a firearm discharged in the city limits,” he said.
There is certainly cruelty to animal charges that could be applied in criminal prosecution.
We wanted to ask about that, but Virginia Beach Animal Control could not provide any updates on the investigation.
Dillon wants someone held accountable for what happened.
“I would like to find the perpetrator and get some justice for Titus… I’m not saying who it is, but it has to be one of these houses in my opinion,” he said.
Dillon does not think the dogs were fired on by someone coming in by water on Lake Smith but thinks it was a land attack.
“Everybody denies any knowledge of it. ‘I don’t know anything, I would never do it,’ and all that kind of stuff,” Dillon said with some exasperation.
“In all my 21 years of doing this, I’ve never had a case like this before,” said Private Investigator Cheryl Bombaugh. “We would like to find a pellet, so we can then compare it to the pellet that came out of Titus.”
Dillon posted his story of the pellets on social media and Bombaugh saw it and came out to help. She went to some of the neighbors’ homes,
“There was one person who was a little defensive, but I got to do more digging. I do not want to accuse someone without knowing it 100%,” he said.
As of 6:30 p.m. Monday, $3,870 was in a GoFundMe account asking for information leading to an arrest.