Man allegedly shoots neighbor's dog

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William Ates Lowe By Jennifer Thomas William Ates Lowe By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

BUCKEYE, Ariz. -- They were supposed to be neighbors, but sheriff’s deputies say William Lowe was anything but neighborly. The 20-year-old was arrested for shooting the dog next door.

Krista Tollefson says her dog Nikki, a 6-month-old Weimaraner-Labrador mix, was running along the fence in the backyard on Wednesday, visiting with the neighbor's dog, when she suddenly let out a yelp.
 
"I came out she was running towards me yelping the whole way right from the fence," Tollefson said. "She started having trouble breathing. She was wheezing a bit, her breathing was labored."
 
Tollefson still had no idea what was wrong with her dog, but she knew something wasn’t right so they went straight to the vet. That’s where they discovered a puncture wound on Nikki’s chest and the X-rays showed a pellet in her lung lodged right along the side of her heart. She was given just a 10 percent chance of making it through the night.
 
"To a lot of people it’s just a dog, but to me she's our family, she's my baby," Tollefson said.
 
"We brought her home and cheered her on, 'Come on you can do it, you can breathe, just keep breathing keep breathing,'" she said.
 
Thankfully, Nikki made it through the night. Then three days later Lowe was arrested, accused of shooting Nikki. According to court records, this isn't the first time Lowe has fired his weapon at dogs.
 
His girlfriend told deputies Lowe admitted "he was responsible for shooting the dog and he shot pellets at other dogs in the past."
 
"That's what worries me even more is the fact he has no care or concern," Tollefson said. "I’m worried about my safety, my boyfriend’s safety and I have two cats. I mean it’s my backyard for crying out loud. I should be able to go out there."
 
Lowe was arrested and, according to court records, deputies recovered the gun in his home.

Lowe is out on bond but his family declined to comment.
 
In the meantime, Nikki seems to be improving and the vet says she now has a 75 percent chance of surviving the shot. 
 
"The biggest concern is infection," Tollefson said. "She’s on medication and pain killers. I’m just happy my baby is going to make it. That’s my concern."
 
Lowe is charged with two felonies and a misdemeanor, including animal cruelty, disorderly conduct with a weapon and inflicting physical harm to an animal. He will be back in court Dec. 19 for a status conference.