Steamboat Springs Riley, the golden retriever shot in the paw Wednesday night, is home recovering after being checked out by a local veterinarian.
Greg Nelson, the dog's owner, said he and his family were outside having a "paintball war" when his 13-year-old son and dog strayed into neighbor Tom Cannon's property on Valley View Lane on the way up Yellow Jacket Pass. The boy was not walking the dog, as was initially reported.
Nelson said he did not know how close his son was when the shot was fired, but a bullet, apparently from a .22 rifle, passed through Riley's foot. Nelson's family had seen Cannon outside, wearing only his underwear, about 10 minutes before the shot was fired, he said.
Cannon disputed some of Nelson's account Friday morning. Cannon, who has lived on Valley View Lane for 25 years, said Nelson's dog often wanders onto his property and sometimes approaches his barn, where Cannon's cat lives. While Cannon said the dog has never posed a threat to him, he thinks it has posed a threat to his cat.
Cannon said he was fully clothed when he fired his rifle in an attempt to scare Riley.
"I was aiming at the ground in front of him, and I inadvertently hit his foot," Cannon said. Cannon said the dog was back running around Thursday, one day after being shot.
"It's being blown out of proportion," Cannon said about the incident. He was arrested Wednesday night on suspicion of prohibited use of a weapon, careless discharge of a firearm, and cruelty to animals. Cannon was released later Wednesday night on $750 bail.
Routt County Sheriff's Office deputies have said alcohol may have been a factor in the incident. Cannon, however, said he had only one beer with dinner before the shooting.
Cannon, 68, estimated that Nelson's son was between 50 and 75 yards away from the dog when he fired his gun.
"When I shot at the dog, the kid wasn't anywhere near it," he said.
Cannon said trespassing issues with his neighbors are a continuing problem.
"If you're going on someone else's land, you get permission," he said. "This whole thing has gotten very unpleasant."