Animal-lover distraught after her ‘sweet and gentle’ Labrador is shot for wagging his tail

Jess Buxton of Danville, Vermont, let her one-year-old Berkeley out to go to the toilet with her four other dogs before the shocking events unfolded. Moments later she sensed something was’t right when he failed to return to her door with the rest of the pack and so she began to look for him. Her agonising wait dragged on for hours before she eventually found Berkeley huddled near her home and clearly injured from the attack.  

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Jess told NBC5: “I saw him lying there with his head in between his paws and his eyes were half-way open.  

“I wasn’t sure if he was alive.”

Jess had moved to the area in September to be closer to her mother.

Jess Buxton was left devastated by the shooting of her beloved puppy, Berkeley (Image: NBC5)

Jess said Berkeley was a ‘sweet and gentle‘ companion (Image: NBC5)

She alleges her black-coloured Lab chanced upon her neighbour Frederick Keenan, 72, and the pensioner blasted him in the skull.

Jess told local station NBC5: “He probably was just wagging his tail, saying ‘hi’ to him… that was my boy.

“He just shot him in the face.”

Mr Keenan has since been charged with aggravated cruelty and is due to appear before a court in December.

He has refused to comment on the charges being brought against him.

Berkeley was just one year old when he tragically died (Image: NBC5)

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Jess rushed the injured puppy to a nearby veterinary surgery in the hope that they could save his life.

But shortly after arriving a member of staff took her into a room and told there that sadly, there was nothing they could do for poor Berkeley.

The American described her dog as a “sweet and gentle” companion and said she has struggled to admit to herself she now has only four canines.


Jess and her five dogs had moved to the Danville area of Vermont in September (Image: NBC5)

Weeping, she told the network: “I’m still taking out five treats at night and I didn’t have the heart to put the other one back.”

Jess said the tragedy has caused her to rethink her devotion to her pets and has made her determined to campaign for animal rights.

Berkeley was found by Jess with his head between his paws as he fought for his life (Image: NBC5)

She said: “My life mission from this point on is to fight for these dogs.

“When something like this actually happens to you, you can’t even describe it.”

Tragic Berkeley failed to return home from a run with his four pals (Image: NBC5)


    She said of Berkeley: “That was my boy.” 

    A news release from the Vermont State Police shows authorities were notified of what happened the day after the attack. 

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