Sonny “Tex” Gilligan says his dog “didn’t mean to do it.”
The New Mexico man was driving with his three dogs on their way to a hunt when a 120-pound Rottweiler mix named Charlie discharged a round into Gilligan’s back.
“I thought, ‘Who was that?'” Gilligan said. “I was there, isolated, nobody was around.”
According to Gilligan initially thought the bullet was fired by a hidden sniper. The smoking gun was actually in the backseat of his pickup truck.
“Charlie got his foot in the trigger of the gun and I leaned forward and he slipped off the seat and caught the trigger, and it shot,” Gilligan told the Las Cruces Sun-News. “It was a freak accident, but it’s true, that’s what happened.”
According to Inside Edition, the bullet broke multiple ribs and shattered Gilligan’s collarbone as it traveled through his body.
While badly injured, Gilligan managed to call 911 before it was too late.
“If they waited 10 more minutes, I would’ve died,” he said. “I lost so much blood.”
Following the incident, police placed Gilligan’s dogs, Charlie, Scooter, and Cowboy, at the Animal Service Center of the Mesilla Valley. Gilligan misses his furry friends, and doesn’t hold anything against them.
“Poor Charlie, he’s a good dog,” Gilligan said. “The sheriff’s department said the only one they had trouble with was Cowboy. The other two were friendly. Charlie is the boss, but he’s gentle.”
Gilligan’s son, Mark Gilligan, was able to bring the dogs home with him a few days later.
As the younger Gilligan maintains, the dogs get riled up quite easily.
“They’re kind of rowdy,” Mark Gilligan said. “They’re pretty rambunctious and full of energy. … So, it didn’t surprise me at all.”
Thankfully, his father is expected to make a full recovery.
Learn more in the video below:
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
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