Dog shoots owner while hunting in southern New Mexico

New Mexico News

Hunting accidents are nothing new, but this one is: A 74-year-old man is in the hospital after his dog shot him during a hunting trip. 

After the shooting, Sonny Gilligan managed to call 911. Dona Ana County deputies heard quite the story as they saved his life. 

“He was done, he would’ve died. I can’t say enough about the Sheriff’s deputies, because without them my dad was dead,” said Mark Gilligan. 

Mark says it’s normal for his dad to take his three dogs, Charlie, Cowboy, and Scooby, hunting for jackrabbits near Las Cruces. In fact, he says his dad feeds the trio the rabbits as a treat. 

His dad says he was sitting in the truck, his rifle in the backseat, when Charlie’s paw got caught in the trigger. 

The bullet went through the seat and Sonny was shot in the back. Even though Charlie could’ve killed him, Sonny says he’s forgiven him. 

“He spoils his dogs, you know. He calls them his boys. He’s very fond of his animals,” said Mark. 

After the accident, Mark says all three dogs were taken into a county shelter. He says even in critical condition, his dad’s main concern was getting his dogs out of what he called, “doggie jail.” 

Sonny Gilligan was flown to El Paso from the shooting scene. He’s recently been moved out of intensive care.

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