NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston Animal Society is offering a $3,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of a person responsible for killing a dog in North Charleston.
According to a North Charleston police report, officers were dispatched to South Allen Drive Dec. 13, 2017, where the owner of a 1.5-year-old pit bull named Ava found the dog dead.
"She was the center of my life," Ava's owner, Lamesha Haynes, said. "Her personality was everything and I spoiled her rotten. She was the light of my life and now she's gone."
Haynes told officers Ava had no known health issues and had not been acting differently the day she died.
"She gave me the biggest smile," Haynes said. "That day I just couldn't believe that would be the last time I see my baby."
Members of the Charleston Animal Society and Haynes believe Ava was shot to death on Dec. 13.
"I'm just scared because it could have been one of my babies," Haynes said. "She is my baby, but it could have been one of my kids."
"We believe someone in the community knows who shot Ava, and we are offering this $3,000 reward, to encourage someone to step forward and do the right thing," said Charleston Animal Society Director of Anti-Cruelty and Outreach Aldwin Roman.
Authorities state Haynes received a phone call from her daughter at 1:52 p.m. saying the dog was not moving and had blood coming from her nose and mouth.
Officers who were dispatched to the scene said there were no visible signs of trauma, but said several spots of blood could be seen in the grass and dirt, and on the house.
"[Through the necropsy we found] the bullet went through her lungs, that's why she was still breathing, or trying to breathe," Roman said. "She drowned in her own blood."
Haynes added in the days leading up to Ava's death, several teens in the neighborhood had assaulted and harassed one of her daughters.
An incident report from Dec. 6 states officers responded to S. Allen Drive in reference to threats made at the school bus stop by three male teenagers at Haynes's daughter.
"She stated that they throw rocks at her… "boxed" her in her face last week… 'tried to beat with a belt'," the incident report states.
"The day before she was threatened and they said they were going to shoot her," Haynes said.
While police have not said whether the two incidents are connected, Haynes and Roman believe someone in the neighborhood is responsible.
"This dog was shot at its home, in its yard, in broad daylight," Roman said. "Whoever did this should not be walking our streets."
"Someone took her," Haynes said. "Someone took her from me, took her from my kids. We're empty without her."
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective J. Lawrence with the North Charleston Police Department at 843-740-2855.