CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A crime alert out of Chesterfield where a man said he had to make the difficult choice to put down his son's dog, Gizmo, after it had been shot.
This is Gizmo during happier times. Keith Hamilton said Gizmo was found with a bullet wound New Year's Eve on Hampton Springs Road in Hampton Park.
The Hamiltons had been out of town New Year's Eve when they got a disturbing call from a friend who'd been watching their dog. It had gotten out of the yard and was badly hurt.
Gizmo had been a part of the Hamilton family for six years. From the moment he was brought home, Keith Hamilton said Gizmo and his 10-year-old son Bryce would rarely be seen apart.
"He would sleep with the dog. The dog would be in either his bed or he'd sleep on the floor with the dog," said Hamilton.
Traumatized by what happened to Gizmo, Bryce now sleeps beside his mother.
"It was gut-wrenching, I mean words can't describe we were devastated," said Hamilton.
The Hamiltons were driving home from Bryce's hockey tournament in Maryland when their dog sitter called.
Hamilton said his friend let Gizmo out in the yard. There's an electronic fence, but said Gizmo can sometimes get past it.
"I can only guess that's what he did this time," said Hamilton.
At about 5:30 that evening, a neighbor saw Gizmo in Hamilton's yard.
About an hour and a half later, Hamilton's friend found Gizmo lying in a gutter wounded and paralyzed but trying to crawl his way back home.
"The bullet had lodged right in the middle of the dog's spine," said Hamilton.
The owner said the only option was the euthanize. Otherwise Gizmo wouldn't be able to walk or urinate on his own.
Hamilton said his son knew his dog was in bad shape. He stayed by his side until the end.
"We gave him the option of holding the dog when we put the dog down and he wanted to do that and he did," said Hamilton.
All they have now are memories and unanswered questions.
"Nothing's going to bring the dog back. Nothing's going to fix that hole in my son's heart," said Hamilton.
If you have information about this case call Crime Solvers at 748-0660. The Hamiltons hope to one day get their son another dog, but said right now, it's just too soon.