A Manning family is seeking answers after they came home on Monday to find their family dog had been shot in the face.
Whitley Carraway, her husband and their four children, who are 2, 4, 7, and 8 years old, arrived to their home off June Burn Road together about 3:40 p.m.
While following her children into the house, Carraway said she noticed drops of blood on the front porch.
She said her husband, Travis Carraway, thought Sookie, a female blue bully pit bull, may have been in heat.
The couple said they called for the 6-year-old dog and noticed her face was bloody when she crawled from under the porch.
"He said, 'Someone shot my dog,'" Whitley Carraway said.
She said she thought maybe Sookie had been shot with a BB gun but that her husband pointed out the hole in the dog's face.
Carraway said she called the police to report the incident while her husband took Sookie to the vet.
She said she later walked down the road to see if there was a blood trail leading to the house. The only blood was on the porch, she said.
Carraway said that detail worries her because that may mean someone came into her yard while the family was away.
She said though there is a wooded area near her house, hunting is prohibited there. She said it is also not possible for someone to enter her yard unintentionally because the house is set back from the main road.
While at the animal clinic, the vet said the bullet went through Sookie's nose and into her jaw, breaking it, Carraway said.
She said the bullet and the dog's teeth on one side were removed.
As a result of the injury, Sookie may be blind in one eye, Carraway said. That eye has already gone white.
She said Sookie's veterinary bill is $475.
Carraway said the family is not asking for donations for the bill but that she has heard people want to help. Anyone who would like to help pay the bill can call Morris Animal Clinic in Manning, she said.
"We don't need to see it. We just appreciate any help," she said.
The family is hoping for a speedy recovery, though Sookie may not fully heal from her injuries.
Hopefully she can get back to being the family pet, Carraway said.
Now that Sookie is back home, Carraway said Monday she and her husband want to find out what happened.
Though Sookie is a big dog — and a pit bull — Carraway emphasized Sookie is not aggressive.
"She's like a big baby," she said. "Sookie is another child to us.
"What did she do? What did Sookie do in order for someone to shoot her?"
If it was an accident, then the person who did it should just say that, Carraway said. Accidents do happen, after all.
Anyone with information about the incident can call Clarendon County Sheriff's Office at (803) 435-4414. Information can also be given anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-(888)-CRIME-SC.
The Sumter Item contacted the Clarendon County Sheriff's Office for a copy of the incident report but did not receive approval by press time Tuesday.