TUCSON, Ariz. - On Thursday night, Ace the dog was hit by a bullet while in a midtown neighborhood backyard.
Ana Smith, Ace's owner, said her dog might have been the target, but has no idea why.
"I mean he was just out in his backyard, and the next thing you know, he's shot," she said. "I don't know why somebody would do that, or how could somebody do that."
Smith said police found a bullet casing in an Alvernon Heights easement, or walkway, right next to her yard, where Ace was at the time the shot was fired.
"There's no reason to do this to an animal, a defenseless, innocent animal," Smith said. "It's ridiculous. I hope they go to jail."
The walkway is often a hotspot for criminal activity, or a place for people to do drugs, according to Smith.
"A lot of unsavory characters, I guess you could say," she said.
Her sister, Amelia Latham, also lives in the neighborhood. She uses the walkway on a routine basis to get around the neighborhood, as do many others. This shooting was the tipping point in her feelings about its safety, however. She'd like to see major changes.
"If they can't get the easement closed, I would like to see some lights go up," Latham said.
Somehow, Ace survived being hit once in the chest after a trip to the animal hospital that night. Smith says the following day they determined he has fluid in his chest cavity and is in need of a major surgery.
Smith says she can't afford to give Ace the treatment he needs, so she has set up a GoFundMe page in the hopes people in the community will help out.
If you would like to help with some of the costs for Ace's surgery and medical treatments, you can do so at the Emergency Surgery for Ace GoFundMe page.