On Sunday, Janet Duran said she woke up and noticed her lovable 2-year-old Great Dane wasn't asking for his breakfast.
"Sampson usually wakes up at 5 o'clock in the morning when he's hungry and we didn't hear him Sunday morning, and we said something is wrong," Duran said.
Duran searched her yard quickly and discovered that someone had unlatched the previously locked gate and let Sampson out from her home in the 11000 block of 5th Avenue. Duran says she searched the neighborhood and city for Sampson. Finally, a neighbor called to tell her Sampson was at her house and not doing well.
Duran thought at first that Sampson had been attacked by coyotes. But after rushing the dog to the veterinarian's office, she learned they found a pellet lodged in Sampson's stomach. The wound was likely caused by a high-powered pellet or BB gun.
"He was shot on the side by the rib cage and there is a little, tiny hole, but they said all the damage was done on the inside," Duran said.
Had Duran not taken the dog in for emergency surgery, he may not have survived.
"I almost lost my dog and I lost my mother last week, and I'm hurt about that," Duran said. "I'm very shocked about it and then to find out that somebody would have the heart to shoot a dog."
Duran filed a police report and is hopeful they will find the person who shot Sampson.
As for Sampson, he is a bit wearier of strangers now. He spends his days curled up on the couch, resting and recovering while watching his favorite TV shows.