Dog who accidentally shot owner dies weeks later of gunshot wound

A dog who gained national attention after accidentally triggering a gunshot that struck his owner's back has died.

The Associated Press reported that, last October, Charlie, a Rottweiler mix, accidentally turned off the safety on a shotgun in the back seat of his owner's truck.

When the dog's foot slipped, the gun fired. The Las Cruces Sun-News reported the bullet went through the seat and struck Sonny "Tex" Harold Gilligan in the back. Gilligan was out rabbit hunting with Charlie and his two other dogs, Cowboy and Scooter.

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“There’s a hole the size of my fist in my back,” Gilligan said. “It broke my scapula and went through my lung.”

A week after Gilligan’s two-week stint in the hospital, Charlie was dead. Gilligan said he and Scooter got off his property and another rancher shot them.

"(Charlie) got shot and so did Cowboy and that's really sad," Gilligan told Las Cruces Sun-News. "Scooter is still here with me. Charlie would never mean to shoot me. He was such a gentle dog. Cowboy is the mean one. He would've shot me on purpose. He was a little Catahoula dog, but he was a mean guy."

Related: Dog shoots owner during hunting trip in New Mexico

Gilligan has since gotten another dog, a German shepherd-husky mix named Lady. He told the publication he plans to go rabbit hunting with the dogs, but he won’t be using a shotgun.

“The safety on those things is where the dog can actually knock the safety off and shoot it,” he said. “The safety is really easy to knock off. That’s what Charlie did.”

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