Dog shot, killed by pellet gun in Minnesota family's backyard

- Police in Plymouth, Minnesota are trying to determine who shot and killed a family’s dog with a pellet gun while he was out in the fenced-in yard of their home Wednesday. 

The incident happened at 3 p.m. Police believe the suspect was walking along the fence line at 54th Avenue and Northwest Boulevard and shot the dog, a six-year-old springer spaniel named Porter, through a wooden fence. 

Porter's owner, Chris Docken, said his wife, Sarah, and their newborn daughter were at the kitchen window barely 100 feet away when it happened. 

At first, the family thought the dog was poisoned as Porter was throwing up and running frantically around the yard. But after rushing him to the veterinarian, an x-ray found a single pellet lodged close to Porter's heart. The pellet had traveled through Porter's right side, leading to the loss of a lethal amount of blood. Efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful. 

"Porter was family to all of us," Chris said. "And to have this happen so senselessly, it just hurts." 

The family has distributed flyers throughout the neighborhood looking for information that leads to the arrest of the person who shot Porter.

The Plymouth Police Department is investigating the incident. 

"We are taking it very seriously," Deputy Chief Dan Plekkenpol said. "Obviously, this is an invasion into their property, into their lives and now a pet who they loved dearly has died." 

There are no cameras in the busy area along Northwest Boulevard and the Bass Lake playfields, which are right across the street from the family's home. Police have interviewed neighbors and are asking anyone with information regarding the incident to contact the Plymouth Police Department at 763-509-5160 or call Hennepin County Dispatch at 952-258-5321. 

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