Desiree – Killed By A BB Gun

By Dina Eckhoff

I hope my story helps others in some way.

Desiree was our 14 and 1/2 year old miniature white/apricot poodle. She had been with us since puppyhood. In January of this year 2006, Desiree suddenly began having difficulty walking, we took her to the vet and had x-rays done. It turned out she had a herniated disk and a very arthritic spine. There was very little that could be done due to her old age, so she was put on anti inflammatory medication. She got somewhat better but then she began to decline to the point where she could no longer walk at all, and she was in pain. I had to carry her outside and lay her in the grass to do her business, but the lady that she is had a hard time conforming to this new way, this just made her worse. At this point, the vet suggested we consider the inevitable. She’d been part of our family for so long, and now realizing we were going to have to say “good-bye” and let her go was agonizing. Well as a last ditch attempt to save our little girl, I decided to try acupuncture, and called the Hudson Highland Veterinary Medical group. In less then two months and 5 acupuncture treatments later, we had our Desiree back!

She could walk, run, jump, although I tried to keep her from using stairs and jumping on the couch since her back was still fragile. Now when we tried to walk her in the doggy stroller that I bought for her when she couldn’t walk, she would just jump out! Desiree got her life back, she had a second chance. By October she was still doing great and going strong. On October 3rd, I put her in the back yard as always, I’d give her about 5 minutes then I’d get her.  A few hours later, my daughter called me, crying she said, “Something’s wrong with Desiree, she can’t move!” I slid her out from under the bed, one of her favorite places to sleep and I saw blood on her side by her ribs. I couldn’t imagine what it was from, when I cleaned her up, it looked like a hole! I had no clue, but it was clear that Desiree was in trouble, she was staggering and in pain, I thought maybe she had a stroke. So we rushed her to Hudson Highland, at this point the pain was causing seizures.

They took x-rays, gave her heavy pain medicine and to our utter shock the x-rays came back showing imbedded almost 6 inches into her little body BB shot. How did this happen?!!!

There was no telling what organs were damaged, her breathing was erratic, she was suffering.   With no time to sleep on the decision, we decided we had no choice but to put her to sleep. Together with our son, the three of us with tears of unbearable sadness said good-buy to our beloved little powder puff, one of many nick names we had for Desiree, she was a joy, a friend and a family member with out a doubt.

That night I called the local police department, they came out to take the report and interview the neighbors. No one claimed to know anything. Later on, Cablevision interviewed me and put the clip on the local news in hopes for leads as to who might have done this terrible act, the Poughkeepsie Journal wrote an article as well. This case is now under investigation. But no matter what, we’ve lost a very precious member of our family.

My son used to want to learn how to shoot a BB guns at targets, but now he realizes how dangerous they can be and fortunately has lost interest.

Dina Eckhoff lives in Poughkeepsie, NY.


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