RICHMOND, Va. – A 12-month-old dog named Angel is undergoing surgery and will likely have to have her leg amputated.
NBC 12 spoke to Angel's heartbroken owner, who recounted the moment when he knew his dog was in peril.
Thomas Ferguson, Angel's owner, tells us that he grew up around dogs ever since he was two years old.
As a lifelong dog lover, you can imagine his shock and devastation when his beloved companion was shot just a few feet away from him on Christmas Eve.
"There was blood in the street, and I didn't want to see her like that, you know?," said Ferguson.
It was a painful experience for Ferguson to recount the moments when his pet dog Angel was shot on Christmas Eve.
12-month-old Angel was found with a gunshot wound around midnight on the 32oo block of 4th Avenue, according to Richmond Animal Care and Control.
They posted this photo of the dog on Facebook showing her with her front left leg bandaged up.
Ferguson was home that night with his girlfriend while Angel was outside in the backyard.
"I heard the gunshot and right away I heard my dog hollering," said Ferguson.
He walked us over to the yard where he found Angel – her blood still stains the dirt in the yard and asphalt by the house.
Ferguson said he couldn't bear to see his dog hurt and had his girlfriend's kids bring Angel into the house.
"I just got heated all over. I couldn't function right, I couldn't move," said Ferguson.
Ferguson says his garage door was open that night but does not know if that factors into why his dog was attacked.
A neighbor across the street told us that this street is normally quiet.
"It was strange to hear a dog, but I heard the shot, so that made a difference," said Wilbert Wall, a neighbor who heard the gunshot.
Angel is now under the care of the RACC where she is undergoing surgery -- they say her front left leg was shattered by the bullet and will likely need to be amputated.
Ferguson is now left with a wounded friend, and a broken spirit.
"I'm messed up right now, you know? They didn't have to shoot the dog," said Ferguson.
Investigators are urging the public to contact them with any information related to this shooting.
Anyone interested in donating to help with Angel's medical bills can donate here.