Apr. 5—A 7-year-old Siberian Husky is now recovering at home with his family after a man shot him in the neck Saturday at Norman Community Dog Park.
A warm spring day turned into a nightmare for Norman resident Narvell McWilliams when his dog Jax was shot by another dog owner at the 1001 E. Robinson St. park Saturday afternoon. The Cleveland County District Attorney's office is filing charges of reckless conduct with a firearm and cruelty to animals against the man who shot Jax.
McWilliams said Jax and his other dog, a German Shepard named Loki, were playing in the large dog section of the park when a man and his daughter brought their small dog to that area.
"The little dog kept coming over to my husky and kind of aggravating him," McWilliams said. "At first, I thought it was playful, but my dog was eventually acting like, 'leave me alone,' growling."
After multiple interactions between the dogs, McWilliams said the owner of the smaller dog told him "you better get your dog, or else."
Witnesses at the scene told McWilliams the man lifted up his shirt to reveal he had a gun, but McWilliams said he was focused on his dog and didn't see what the man was doing.
After a few minutes, McWilliams said the little dog ran up to Jax again, and both of the dogs took off running.
"That's when the guy pulled out his gun and took off running after my dog and his dog," McWilliams said. "My dog was jumping playfully, and that's when the guy fired a shot at him."
McWilliams recalls the other dog owner picking up his smaller dog and pushing Jax away. He said Jax was shaken up and in pain, and Loki could sense his discomfort.
"Loki was pretty hype because they're best friends, so I had to hold on to him while comforting Jax," McWilliams said.
While McWilliams loaded his dogs in the car to head to the animal hospital, he said witnesses sounded upset as they talked to the suspect and made sure he didn't attempt to leave the scene.
McWilliams said the bullet hit Jax in his neck and went through chest, puncturing his lung. After being closely monitored overnight Saturday, Jax is now on the mend at home.
"He's stable and walking around, drinking and seems to be breathing right, but there's still a hole in his lung," McWilliams said.
Names, including those of the suspect and witnesses, were redacted from the police report released Monday. McWilliams said he intends to look into filing a civil lawsuit as well.
McWilliams has also set up a GoFundMe account to cover the cost of the medical expenses accrued over the weekend, and said he hopes Jax will continue to heal without surgery.
"He was my mother's dog until she passed away in February of this year, so he's all my family has left of her, [and we] just want him better and healthy again," McWilliams said on the fundraiser page.
Jeff Elkins covers business, living and community stories for The Transcript. Reach him at Jelkins@normantranscript.com or at @JeffElkins12 on Twitter.