Texas Man Says 'Sorry' to Three Children Then Shoots 9-month-old Pet Puppy Called Nolan Directly in the Face

A Labrador retriever mix puppy called Nolan was shot in front of three children last month outside an apartment complex in Texas, police say.

The black 9-month-old dog had followed the children outside while they were taking out trash before the unprovoked attack, Nolan's owner Genola Vance told media outlet WFAA. A police statement released last Friday said the incident occurred on February 28 at roughly 5:00 p.m.

Dallas police said: "Three minor children, between the ages of 5-7, and their dog were near the dumpster in the apartment complex located at 4374 Woodhollow Drive."

The statement added: "The unidentified suspect, described as an adult male in a black hoodie, approached the children and the dog. The suspect pulled out a gun and shot the dog in the face. The dog sustained [a] major injury to his mouth. The unidentified suspect then fled on foot."

Vance told WFAA that it was her son and two nephews who witnessed the incident. "They said [the armed stranger] just looked at them, said 'sorry,' and then shot [the dog]," she said.

The suspect remains at large. Dallas police, which has appealed for the public's help, said once the man is apprehended the charge for the offense will be cruelty and torture to a non-livestock animal.

The pup—which is expected to make a recovery—was taken to VCA Metroplex Animal Hospital for surgery. The bullet pierced his mouth and exited through the jaw.

"I think if Nolan wouldn't have run outside, maybe this man would have shot one of the kids," Vance told WFAA, adding the dog was now back at the family home. "He took a bullet for my family... I'm just happy he's alive and I'm going to do whatever it takes to make him better."

The motivation behind the shooting remains unknown.

Dallas Police Department has requested anyone with information to contact crime stoppers at 877-373-8477 or detective H. Tame with the Animal Cruelty Unit at 214-671-0115.

In January this year, a man in Florida was accused of killing a Chihuahua puppy with a pellet gun. Johansen Concepcion De La Ros, aged 19, allegedly shot the 8-month-old dog called Princess on September 29, 2018. He pleaded not guilty this year, telling Broward County prosecutors that it had been an accident.

The next month, Minnesota police concluded that the shooting of a dog named Donald Trump was legally justified amid speculation it was killed because of the owner's political ideology. Deputies said the shooter had been "protecting their livestock on their private property."