There are plenty of ways to encourage dogs to stop unwanted behaviors, and different methods work for different dogs.
Some tools and aversives are controversial, but there is one method that no sane dog lover would support: shooting a dog with a BB gun.
Sadly, that’s what two dogs from Spring Hill, Florida, suffered when their owner, Jamie Kujawa, was tired of them trying to dig under the fence and escape. (Is it any wonder they were trying to get out?)
Authorities first showed up at Kujawa’s doorstep on April 19 after a neighbor told the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office that he’d heard something unsettling.
“A witness advised he was working outside when he heard the sound of a BB gun being fired followed by yelps of dogs being hit,” the sheriff’s department shared on Facebook. “During the course of 30 to 45 minutes, the witness advised hearing a BB gun fire approximately 15 times.”
Kujawa was unable to provide any vaccination records for her three dogs, and an animal enforcement officer noticed wounds on two of the dogs’ legs. Kujawa said they’d been fighting and that had caused the wounds, and claimed not to own a BB gun.
The officer gave her 10 days to get the dogs medical attention and up-to-date vaccinations, which she failed to comply with.
Before the 10 days expired, a deputy and animal enforcement officer made another visit and noticed the dogs exhibited new wounds on their legs and feet. The dogs were not “comfortable with being touched,” so they were unable to examine the wounds closely.
Several more visits took place, and on April 28, Kujawa said she didn’t have the money to get her dogs the required veterinary care. On May 3, she surrendered the two dogs to Hernando County Animal Services.
When the dogs were finally given vet care, X-rays told a very different tale than their former owner had. Each of the dogs’ bodies had been peppered with dozens of BBs and lead pellets, especially in the legs, for a combined total of 173 pellets.
After making this gruesome discovery, Kujawa’s remaining animals — the other dog, three cats, a bird and a ferret — were removed from Kujawa’s care and are also being evaluated.
Kujawa herself was arrested Tuesday and charged with multiple counts of aggravated animal cruelty, and when she was questioned, she gave more heartbreaking details.
“Investigation revealed Kujawa used a gas-powered BB gun to shoot the dogs when they attempted to dig under the property fence to get out of her yard,” the sheriff’s post stated. “Kujawa advised she had been shooting the dogs for approximately two months.”
While the dogs’ past is horrifying and they have a lot of work ahead of them both medically and socially, they’re in much better hands now.