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Dog shot with arrow

The shepherd mix had surgery and may live.

By TIM GRANT, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published August 11, 2002

CARROLLWOOD -- Animal cruelty struck another Carrollwood neighborhood Friday when a dog was found with an arrow through his chest in Four Oaks.

The dog's owner, John Cowart, said the shepherd mix named Rocky had been missing for hours when he discovered Rocky under his mobile home about 9:30 a.m.

"If someone had a problem with my dog, I wish they had come to me and see if we could have solved it," said Cowart, who lives at 12508 Pittsfield Ave.

After emergency surgery at VetCare Animal Hospital on N Dale Mabry Highway, Rocky had a 50-50 chance of survival, said veterinarian Arthur Simon, who performed the operation.

Simon said the aluminum arrow went from the right to the left side of Rocky's chest and the tip came out near his neck. Simon anticipated that the 21/2-year-old dog would have some complications from infection.

"Right now he is stable and he hasn't lost too much blood," Simon said Friday.

Hillsborough sheriff's Deputy Roy Moren does not believe it was an accident, but he had no suspects and no leads. None of the neighbors he interviewed had seen anyone in the area with a bow and arrow.

Rocky was kept in Cowart's back yard with two other shepherd mixes. Moren said he can't determine if Rocky was shot in the back yard of if the dog left the yard and returned after being shot. Although the back yard is fenced, Cowart said the dog has been able to get in and out.

A couple of miles east, Original Carrollwood residents say as many as 17 cats have been found dead since July.

Deputies have no leads in those cases either, because all the cats were buried before officers could investigate. Neighbors have said the cats were shot, stabbed, mutilated and possibly poisoned.

Cowart, 44, said he is considering bringing his other two dogs inside because of what happened to Rocky.

"I don't have any children, so my dogs are everything to me," he said.

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-- Tim Grant can be reached at 269-5311 or at

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