- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—Animals lovers from around the country stepped up to help save the life of an aging dog that was shot last week by an unknown assailant on Akron’s west side.

By Monday, more than $4,000 had been deposited in a GoFundMe account for Rio, a 140-pound Preso Canario that was shot while tethered in a driveway early Thursday evening. The amount is more than enough money to pay for the dog’s medical needs, said Michelle Maxwell, a veterinarian assistant for Creekside Animal Clinic in Norton.

“She came in today and she looked good,” Maxwell said of Rio. “She is such a sweetheart. She took cookies from my hand.”

The dog’s owner, Daryl Evege, told the Beacon Journal he was sitting on his front porch in the 1100 block of Nome Avenue watching three of his grandchildren play in the front yard just before a man who was walking past the house pulled out a gun and shot the dog three times.

Two bullets passed through Rio’s leg and hindquarters. A third bullet — the one doctors are concerned about — went through her torso and is lodged under her skin.

But Evege said Monday that Rio’s doctor, veterinarian Amy Cummings of Creekside, said she is doing well.

Cummings ordered additional X-rays on Monday, and Rio and Evege have another appointment scheduled this week, he said.

Police are investigating the incident and have spoken with the mother of the young man who allegedly shot the dog, Akron police Lt. Rick Edwards said.

“We are following up on it. Our gun-violence reduction team went out and talked to the suspect’s mother,” he said.

Evege said a neighbor pointed to the suspect, who was running away from the scene, and Evege gave chase. He lost the man when the suspect jumped over a fence.

“I saw him. I can positively identify him,” Evege said.

Tracy Evans, of Mercy’s Door Pet Rescue of Ashland County, set up the Internet-based account with a $5,000 cap to help Evege pay Rio’s medical bills and help him recoup initial medical fees that he paid to an emergency hospital.

Five hundred dollars above the costs associated with Rio’s medical bills has been set aside in the GoFundMe account as a reward for anyone who provides information leading to the conviction of the man who shot the dog.

Over the weekend and Monday, people had given Evege more than $600 in cash, including a $370 donation from Ohio Carry, a nonprofit that promotes and advocates for firearm rights in Ohio.

The group sponsored a 48-hour fundraiser and delivered the donations to Evege in person.

“We will not tolerate animal abuse, and will always seek to defend those who can’t defend themselves,” Brett Pucillo, president of Ohio Carry Inc., said in an email to the newspaper announcing the fundraiser.

Any money collected in the GoFundMe account exceeding the medical bills and a potential reward will be donated to Mercy’s Door Pet Rescue, organizers said.

Kathy Antoniotti can be reached at 330-996-3565 or [email protected] Follow on Twitter at: @KathyAntoniotti and on facebook: www.facebook.com/KathyAntoniotti


(c)2015 the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)

Visit the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio) at www.ohio.com

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