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Dog Survives Being Shot 4 Times

January 10, 1998

BYRON, N.Y. (AP) _ Who said only cats have nine lives?

Audra and Bob Abel believe their tough, little pooch Sonny has a strong will to survive after being shot four times in two separate incidents by an irate neighbor.

Last summer, the Abels said they found the 10-pound poodle lying on their front porch, covered in blood.

``He was shot three times,″ Bob Abel said. ``Once across the spine and it came out through the other side. He got shot through the ribs and broke two. And he got hit in the leg. That one came out the other side.″

Though his ribs never fully healed, Sonny survived the attack that was never solved by police.

Then last Tuesday, the Abels heard gunshots near their home in this small town about 45 miles east of Buffalo. They thought it must have been a neighbor target shooting until they heard scratching at the door.

``His back was all blood,″ Bob Abel said.

Sonny had been shot again, in the top part of his back just below the spine. After another harrowing trip to the Batavia Animal Hospital, the 12-year-old poodle appeared to be fine.

This time, though, police nabbed a neighbor who later said he shot the dog because it was in his yard. Curt Randall, 20, was charged with cruelty to animals.

As for Sonny, his brushes with death may have come to an end.

``We’ll keep him leashed up now,″ Bob Abel said. ``He won’t be running around.″

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