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Abbeville family heartbroken after neighbor allegedly shot and beat dog to death

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An upstate dog was shot and beaten after it wandered into a neighbor's yard, Fox Carolina reported February 18.

An Abbeville, South Carolina family is mourning the loss of their family dog, Elvis, after the latch on a gate broke and the dog wandered onto a neighboring property.

Beth Williams, described on her Facebook page how her daughters dog escaped their fence Saturday morning. Elvis ran from his own yard across the road and onto the neighbor's property. Alyssa Williams was putting on her shoes before chasing Elvis down and bringing him back home.

It was as Beth and Sean were driving through the pasture that Beth heard the gunshots. As they were going around and under the fence, the neighbor was allegedly killing Elvis.

The family dog had been shot in his backside, and was now being beaten by the neighbor. The family said in a police report that Elvis was beaten in the head by the butt of the shotgun the neighbor was carrying, all the while being kicked repeatedly.

The neighbor stated he was only using a small stick and was protecting his family. The neighbor soon went into his home, still carrying the shotgun.

Beth called the police, and Sean picked up Elvis's limp body. The dog was still breathing at this time, and was rushed to Anderson for emergency treatment. Elvis died about 15 minutes from the emergency vet.

According to the family, Elvis had no visible injuries other than five small bird shot wounds in his backside. The family believes he would have survived, had he not been beaten in the head. The family had to return home and tell Alyssa her dog was dead.

Deputies with the Abbeville County Sheriff's Department came and spoke with both the Williams family, as well as the neighbor who allegedly "defended his family." South Carolina has a leash law, and there was nothing the police could do.

Police, as well as the man responsible have expressed their regret over Elvis' death.

Sheriff Ray Watson says Abbeville County does have a leash law that states dogs must be restrained. The law also states that a person can defend himself against a dog if he believes his life is in danger, including the use of deadly force

In an interview with Fox Carolina, Alyssa Williams stated

I'm slowly getting less mournful and more furious with this man."

Now the family is considering a lawsuit against the neighbor who shot and beat their dog.

The man who shot and beat Elvis didn't want to be interviewed on camera, but a video is available here for those of you who want to learn more.

Readers, do you believe the neighbor was justified in killing Elvis? Or should this be considered animal cruelty? Your comments are welcome.

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