Man shoots dog in head with arrow over broken chain
A 26-year-old Jones County man is accused of shooting his own dog in the head with an arrow, nearly killing the animal.
Shawn Nichols, 26, was arrested Sunday after Jones County Sheriff’s Deputies and rescuers responded to Glade Baptist Church on Triangle Drive after the dog was discovered walking with an arrow sticking out of its face.
Gruesome photos posted to Southern Cross Animal Rescue’s page show the dog with a gaping hole in his head. Doctors at Sawmill Animal Hospital used bolt cutters to cut the arrow in two pieces, then removed the arrow from near the dog’s left eye.
“He is a super lucky fella,” SCAR wrote on Facebook. “The arrow hit the top head muscle but did not go any further.”
The deputies were able to get a phone number off of the dog’s collar. They called and determined the dog owner was Nichols, according to a sheriff’s department press release. When they arrived at Nichols’ residence they noticed a bow target in the backyard and asked Nichols if he owned a crossbow, he said he did. Nichols also admitted to shooting the dog with the crossbow because he had broken his chain and would not allow Nichols to catch it. Nichols went on to say he thought the arrow would kill the dog and did not mean for it to suffer.
In addition to SCAR, SWARM (Safe and Warm Animal Rescue Mission) of Ellisville responded to the scene and at first it was difficult to secure the dog.
“After a human that he trusted looked straight at him and shot him in the head, it’s no wonder he was initially hesitant to be rescued,” SCAR President Heather Williams said. “But now that he is in our care, he is incredibly gentle and trusting.”
Nichols was in the Jones County Adult Detention Center charged with animal cruelty. His initial appearance likely will be today (Tuesday) in Jones County Justice Court.
Nichols is charged with aggravated animal cruelty. A first offense is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $1,000 fine.
In addition to the arrow in his head, Monk was suffering other ailments, Williams said.
“This dog has ground down all of his teeth from chewing on his chain and good gracious at the fleas,” Williams said. “While holding him en route to the vet hospital, the fleas were crawling all over my arms and my shirt. The amount of fleas on him made it look like his fur was alive. His gums are pale so he’s probably a bit anemic from all of the fleas and intestinal parasites.”
According to his Facebook page, Nichols went to Northeast Jones High School. Several people have commented on an old post on Nichols’ page lambasting him for the shooting.
“We wanted to make a public statement to reinforce that SCAR does not wish for threats or violence to be targeted against anyone, regardless of the situation,” SCAR wrote. “We see terrible, awful things everyday. But our only means of fighting these injustices is the legal way. Everyone in rescue experiences a vast array of emotions but ‘an eye for an eye’ type justice only creates more violence and pain in the world. This means more of what we are fighting against in the first place.”
In December, an employee of a pest control company was found not guilty of animal cruelty in the death of a dog at a home in which he was spraying.
Colton Byrd was accused by the dog’s owner, Tracie Walters, of bludgeoning to death with pest-control equipment her 12-year-old blind dog Boo Boo.