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Hesperia woman's Great Dane shot

Owner worried other animals may be attacked

HESPERIA • Less than a week after losing her mother, Janet Duran was shocked when a veterinarian told her that her best friend had been shot.

Duran was staying at her mother’s home on the 11000 block of 5th Avenue when she noticed that her Great Dane, Sampson, had not begun his daily 5 a.m. barking routine on Sunday.

“I ran out calling his name, but my cousin and I could not find him,” said Duran, 54, who adopted the 2-year-old dog last year. “We found him four houses down about three hours later, looking lethargic. He had a puncture wound by his ribcage and he was bleeding.”

After talking to neighbors who saw coyotes in the area, Duran thought Sampson had been attacked by the animals.

During surgery, Animal Medical Center personnel discovered that a projectile was lodged in Samson’s liver. The projectile had made its way through the gallbladder, leaving 2 liters of blood in the dog’s abdomen.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Hesperia station spokeswoman Sue Rose said that “it appears the dog was shot by a pellet type gun.”

“The dog was bleeding extensively, and more than likely (would) be dead if she did not bring him in,” Veterinarian Ivan Yevsenko said.

Yevsenko said the pellet found in Sampson caused major injury because it was fired by a “powerful rifle or airsoft gun.”

“It was unusual because a pellet usually does not do this much damage,” Yevsenko said. “But the dog is looking much better and may be able to go home (Tuesday).”

During her investigation, Duran discovered that someone had opened a front-yard wrought iron gate leaving behind “man-sized shoe prints.”

Duran said a Hesperia sheriff’s deputy told her that Sampson may have struggled as he was being led out of the yard.

After almost losing Sampson, Duran is afraid that the same person may attack other animals in town.

“Samson is such a sweetheart. He’s a licker because he loves people,” Duran said. “I can’t see why anybody would do this.”

Rene De La Cruz may be reached at (760) 951-6227 or at

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