Dog shot 38 times abandoned in Berkeley parking lot

Daphne, the pitbull who was shot 38 times with a pellet gun, is now being housed at the Berkeley Animal Shelter.
Rashad Sisemore/Staff
Daphne, the pitbull who was shot 38 times with a pellet gun, is now being housed at the Berkeley Animal Shelter.

When an abandoned dog was dropped off by police at the Berkeley Animal Shelter last month, staff found nothing out of the ordinary.

But when she was taken to the Berkeley East Bay Humane Society last week to be spayed, the attending veterinarian discovered something odd: The dog had 38 pellet gun bullets lodged inside her skin.

Daphne, a one-year-old pit bull, was rescued by Berkeley Police Department officers last month in a parking lot at the corner of Addison Street and Bolivar Drive in West Berkeley, according to Kate O’Connor, manager of the city’s Animal Care Services. Last Tuesday, veterinarians at the humane society found — through x-rays — that the bumps under her skin originally thought to be ticks were actually bullets.

O’Connor said she believes the shots are the result of someone using the dog as target practice or possibly a neighbor who had gotten annoyed with the dog’s barking.

“Whoever did it was a very sadistic, sick person,” she said.

Daphne was also found with her ears halfway cut off — a procedure that veterinarians do purely for looks, O’Connor said.

Seven months ago, two six-month-old dogs of the same breed — one of whom was found with a pellet in her face — were picked up in the same parking lot, according to O’Connor. Animal services staff believe the three may be sisters from the same home, she said.

“The idea is beyond me,” said Bela Kisamov, medical director at the humane society. “We work with these animals on a daily basis, and to know that there are people out there — people who would shoot a dog 38 times — is unfathomable.”

According to O’Connor, the city’s animal shelter sees many cases of neglect and cruelty each year, including instances of animals with their bones dislodged, chain collars imbedded in their necks and fur matted with blood.

“A lot of animals (who come in) are badly injured — I wouldn’t want to hazard a guess at how many,” she said. “In the last two years, the number has increased. I think the economy is affecting people so they can’t afford to have pets.”

According to statistics released by Animal Care Services, the shelter took in more than 1,500 dogs and cats from the public in 2010. Over 500 of those animals were adopted, but 93 were deemed untreatable and euthanized.

The staff at Animal Care Services are currently trying to find a home for Daphne, who, after being treated for her injuries, has recently been put up for adoption. O’Connor said staff are considering several interested people and are looking for somewhere the dog will feel safe and secure.

“The fact that (these animals) come through us and that we get to help them and put them out into the adoptable world is really rewarding,” Kisamov said. “It’s rewarding and heartbreaking.”

Please keep our community civil. Comments should remain on topic and be respectful.
Read our full comment policy
  • Was this the result of a dog being shot 38 times, or merely 38 individual pieces of steel shot as might be the result of being shot once with a shotgun? This isn’t really clear…

  • How sick is this the person responsible   for this crime should do at least 38 years in jail on for each shot..asshole

  • Po Po Penelope

    “Whoever did it was a very sadistic, sick person.”
    then obviously it was done by officers of BPD, before they brought her in to animal care and pretended like they didn’t know what happened

    • Even for an idiot, that was a really stupid comment.

  • Guest

    slow news day? No offense to the dog, poor thing

  • Veterinarians don’t cut a dogs ears half off for looks… fighters do that to keep a dog in the fight longer. People that abuse animals are the lowest animals there are.

    • Sarah

      Actually, most dogs that have cropped ears are not dogs used for fighting. Cropping was traditionally thought to help prevent injuries while they were hunting, guarding flock, etc. More recently (past few decades) for dog fighting. But just because a dog has cropped ears does Not mean it has been used for dog fighting. Most times it is a purely cosmetic surgery that many vets still do on dog breeds where it is fairly popular to have cropped ears. Eg. Pits, Boxers, Dobermans, Great Danes, Cane Corsos, Schnauzers, etc etc etc. However, there are people who try to do it themselves and severely injure the dog in the process.