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'He just killed her anyway': Man recounts moment dog was shot, killed in Heights neighborhood

HOUSTON – A dog was shot during an incident in the Heights, according to Houston police.

The incident happened as children were playing a baseball game in the area, which caused a commotion when parents heard the gunshot. 

Here are the details:

What happened?

Police said they got the call around 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

Bruce Waddle, the owner of the dog who got shot, said he had taken his dogs, Zoey and Lady, on a car ride. When he got home and was letting his dogs out, he noticed the neighbor’s dogs had gotten out, so he went to return them. 

While he was returning the dogs, Waddle said he heard some kind of commotion and realized his dogs had wandered off and gotten into a scuffle with another large, black dog.

According to Waddle, he ran toward his dogs and was calling for them. Lady ran back to him, but Zoey stayed. 

"You could tell that there was a scuffle,” Waddle said. “I'm running full-speed and I start yelling at my dog. One of my dogs starts takes off and starts coming back to me and I'm yelling for Zoey to come. I'm like, ‘Zoey, come here, come here,' and I notice that they're not fighting anymore. (The other owner) already broke up it (and) he has (Zoey) by the scruff of her neck, pinned down. His dog is behind him, and he's stepping on his dog's leash, so I probably get within 15, 20 feet (away), yelling, ‘It's alright, Zoey. Zoey I'm here.'"

Waddle said at that point, the other owner pulled out a pistol and fired at Zoey.

“(The owner) looks up at me, pulls a pistol, shoots her point-blank, says, ‘Well, she's gone now,' holsters his pistol, turns around (and) walks off,” Waddle said. “My dog gets up, starts running towards me, bleeding everywhere. (She) comes in the yard and goes lay in the flower bed."

Waddle said the whole incident was an overreaction.

"It was unnecessary,” Waddle said. “It was way, way overkill. You could have kicked her. You could have punched her. You could have hit her with a stick.”

Waddle rushed Zoey to an emergency veterinary clinic, where she later died.

"Animals are going to be animals,” Waddle said. “If they don't get along, they're going to scuffle, right? They're not going to kill each other unless you put them in a pen and let them go. I was on my way, I would have been there in a matter of seconds, and he just killed her anyway. For him to actually look at me when I'm yelling and screaming and trying to help, and not care … the only words he said was, 'Well, shot your dog. She's gone now.'”

What are witnesses saying?

Jesse Gutierrez coaches Heights Norhill Little League at the park. He said he and others quickly moved the children to safety when he heard the shot.

"It was daylight, and there were kids everywhere ... all over the place. And it was one single shot," he said. "I'm not sure why he did it, but he shot a gun 125 feet away from our kids, so it was kind of stupid."

Gutierrez said he immediately called police.

What's next

Waddle's wife is a prominent fundraiser for BARC. The organization has taken over the investigation.