'Lucky' dog in Wellington survives deputy's gunshot

Owner outraged that deputies opened fire

WELLINGTON, Fla. - A pet owner in Wellington is outraged after a sheriff's deputy shot his dog, and doctors are baffled that the dog is hardly the worse for wear.

"What I'm really upset about and disappointed about is that the police opened fire," said Benjamin Meredith, who is visiting his in-laws from Maryland.

Palm Beach County sheriff's deputies responded to a burglar alarm around 2:30 p.m. Monday in Wellington.

When they arrived, they noticed the back door to an adjacent house belonging to Meredith's in-laws was ajar.

When deputies entered, they said the dog charged and that they fired one bullet in self-defense.

The bullet passed all the way through, and no surgery was needed.

"It was a lucky dog. It was a lucky dog," said Lynne Little, the dog owner's mother-in-law.

"For it to go through the chest webbing, the arm webbing, not affect and bones, but superficial to the pectoral muscles, and come out the inside this way, it makes me wonder," said veterinarian Michael Russo.

After only a few hours, the dog was ready to go home.

Meredith said that's the silver lining to a bizarre sequence of events.

"She's a tough dog. I rescued her. She was in a puppy mill. She's seen a lot," said Meredith.

PBSO said deputies have to open fire when they face the possibility of serious injury. Deputies said they followed protocol, and they have offered to pay the dog's medical bills.

It was later discovered the burglar alarm was accidentally tripped by a housekeeper.

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