Jess Buxton had just moved to Danville, Vermont, with her five dogs to be closer to her mom.
Since they are brand new to the area, she didn’t know all of the neighbors yet, but soon she would learn that one of them does not like dogs, or hers at least.
On Sunday afternoon, Buxton’s world came crashing down. She let all five of her dogs outside to use the bathroom, but only four of them came back.
The missing dog was Berkeley, a one-year-old black Labrador. Buxton frantically searched for him but he was nowhere to be seen.
Later on that night, Buxton eventually found Berkeley on the edge of her property, lying down with his head in between his paws. When Buxton found him, she wasn’t even sure if he was alive. He had been shot in the face and was bleeding profusely.
She rushed him to an emergency vet clinic, but Berkeley didn’t make it.
After investigating, Vermont state police discovered that Berkeley had been shot by Buxton’s 72-year-old neighbor, Frederick Keenan.
“[Berkeley] probably was just wagging his tail, saying ‘hi’ to him,” Buxton told NBC 5, through her tears. “He just shot him in the face.”
Buxton said she is struggling every day without her baby and so are her four other dogs.
“The evil person who did this to you has destroyed me,” Buxton wrote on Facebook. “He will never know the emptiness I feel every second without you here.”
“He will never know how excruciatingly painful it is to not feed you anymore. To not hug you. To not call your name and tell you I love you. To not play with you. To look at your brother Wesley and feel helpless because he is so confused and sad.”
Keenan has been cited wit charges related to aggravated animal cruelty and will appear in Caledonia Criminal Court in mid-December.
Buxton created a Facebook page called “Justice For Berkeley,” where she hopes to spread his story and get justice for him, and to make sure no one ever gets away with doing what this cruel man did.