CROCKER, Mo. -- It's a new year, and new hope, for a family with relatives in Pulaski County. A trip home for Christmas changed this family's life. They hope it will change others when it comes to animals.
"It's beyond my comprehension," Jeremy King said about what happened to his dog, Lily, on Christmas morning.
She's a DockDog. The 3-year-old Labrador retriever is athletic, kind and loving -- or was before Christmas.
"Out of nowhere I heard something," King said. "I saw her yelp and jump out of the way and I knew she was shot."
King was in his mother's front yard in Crocker on Christmas morning taking Lily outside. King says Lily never left the yard and was only a few feet from him when she was shot by a high-powered pellet rifle. The alleged shooter was two homes away.
"I saw a gentleman tucked behind a vehicle," King said. "Blood was everywhere. We had to leave immediately. It was only when we got (to the vet's office) that we knew an artery was hit."
Jeremy and his wife, Aime, took Lily to Springfield, 90 minutes away, to see the only vet open on Christmas morning.
"If we didn't get her here in time, she would have passed," King said.
In four hours of surgery, a quarter of her intestines were removed and she had a blood transfusion. Christmas was ruined but Lily was saved.
"Frustrated is not (the word)," King said, "I'm angry someone could do this."