An animal cruelty investigation is underway in the Shoals after a dog was shot at point blank range.
Officials at the Florence-Lauderdale Animal Shelter tell us an elderly couple called earlier in January saying an injured dog was near their home in Lexington.
Animal control officers originally believed the dog had been attacked by another animal, but it wasn't until the veterinarian started working on the yellow lab mix that they found out the dog had been shot.
"That's pretty aggravating to have shot him and left him the way he did," said animal control officer, Cheryl Jones.
Jones tells us they have named the dog Grady. She said he is lucky to be alive.
"The cap that holds the pellets was actually lodged in his neck," said Jones.
Jones says animal control is looking into the case, but investigators need someone to come forward with evidence.
"Somebody knows something about the dog," said Jones.
But animal cruelty cases like Grady's can be difficult to prosecute because of a lack of evidence.
"If we have probable cause on an animal cruelty case we act on it," said Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly.
Connolly tells us his main goal in animal cruelty cases is to get the suspect to surrender their animals over, which can mean giving
"I'd much rather workout a settlement of that case where we care for that animal and get the animal in our hands, to get it to a shelter or where it needs to be than notch a conviction on somebody that's meaningless," said Connolly.
Connolly said if Alabama had stricter animal cruelty laws that could help him prosecute more cases too.
"What we support are stronger laws to protect animals and hopefully that will get through the legislature," said Connolly.
Grady is expected to make a full recovery. He will be going to a rescue group in Massachusetts.
If you have any information on who shot him you are asked to call the Florence-Lauderdale Animal Shelter at 256-760-6676.