PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - A family came home on Christmas Eve to a frightening discovery: someone has shot the puppy named Ridley in the throat.
Their other puppy named Max is still missing and nowhere to be found.
Paulding deputies said the ordeal happened the morning of Christmas Eve on the family's property off Friendship Church Road and Winn Road.
"Everyone was crying. We were all praying and hoping for the best," said 18-year-old Courtney George, who lives next door to her grandparent's property.
Monday morning, she said Ridley and Max were playing on her grandparents' acreage when her father heard gunshots; her grandfather came home to find Ridley bleeding.
Ridley was rushed to a hospital, where the veterinarian found that a bullet from a .223 rifle went through his shoulder, and fragments are still stuck inside.
The 15-month-old puppy now needs reconstructive surgery and possibly throat surgery. The family is raising funds through a GoFundMe page for veterinary expenses.
"He's a harmless dog," George said.
The family also worries that whoever harmed Ridley shot Max as well.
Deputies said they are working to investigate if the shooting was meant to harm the animal or was simply a hunting accident; they are working to determine who was on the property that day and if the dogs wandered off the family's land.