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Dog shot in snout at Kennedy Estates Park near Jupiter

Palm Beach County deputies searching for gunman
Boots, shot at Kennedy Estates Park near Jupiter on April 2, 2022.jpg
Posted at 1:35 PM, Apr 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-12 20:21:44-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Palm Beach County detectives are searching for the gunman in a vehicle who heinously shot a dog in the face at a park near Jupiter and drove away.

Deputies responded to Kennedy Estates Park, located in the 6800 block of Booker T. Boulevard, around 7:15 p.m. Saturday and found a a 10-month-old chocolate lab mix named Boots suffering from a gunshot wound to the snout. Boots had a broken jaw and several of his teeth were knocked out. He was taken to an emergency veterinarian and is currently recovering from his injuries.

Mutty Paws Rescue, a foster-based nonprofit, responded to the call the night of the shooting.

Ashley Miller, president of Mutty Paws Rescue, said it's a miracle Boots survived the shooting as the bullet entered through his snout and exited at the bottom fracturing his lower jaw.

"So he had reconstructive jaw surgery," said Miller. "It was completely shattered. There was bone fragments everywhere and the surgery was very extensive. It lasted 2 1/2 hours. By the time it was done and over with, Dr. (Robert) Kadish was completely exhausted."

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said a white, four-door Honda Accord with three people inside drove into the park.

A man got out of the vehicle, went up to Boots — who was loose at the time — and fired one round into his snout.

The gunman then got back into the Accord and took off toward Indiantown Road, according to a surveillance photo. He's described as 6 feet tall with a tall, thin building. He has short dreadlocked hair with red highlighted tips.

Honda Accord flees the scene of a dog shooting at Kennedy Estates Park in Jupiter on April 2, 2022.jpg
Honda Accord flees the scene of a dog shooting at Kennedy Estates Park in Jupiter on April 2, 2022.

Martha Velezquez, who lives in the neighborhood, said it's typically a quiet area but is concerned as the shooting happened by Kennedy Estates Park.

Miller said the owner surrendered Boots and his three siblings to the organization. She expects Boots should be ready for adoption in a couple of months.

"He's been through a lot," said Miller. "He's a fighter. He's going to make somebody a very lovely companion for their family."

Two of his sisters will go to Darbster Doggy in Chichester, New Hampshire, where they'll be put up for adoption.

Mutty Paws Rescue is offering a $500 reward for tips that lead to an arrest.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County at 800-458-TIPS.