'Good dog' accidentally shoots owner during hunting trip, man survives

Ra'eesah Manack
Nov 05, 2018
08:23 A.M.

In a bizarre accident, a man found himself in hospital after being accidentally shot by his dog during a hunting trip.


What started out as a normal hunting trip quickly turned into a grim scene. A man, Sonny "Tex" Gilligan, took his three dogs with him on a hunting trip on October 25, 2018.

He planned to hunt Jackrabbits in the desert near Las Cruces. His three dogs, Charlie, Scooter, and Cowboy were in the back seat of his pickup truck.

Also in the back was his gun. The combination of coincidence and placement of his gun eventually resulted in the near tragedy.


The rambunctious dogs were jumping around the back seat. The car was parked and they were ready to get out of the car.

Poor Charlie slipped off the chair. His foot caught on the trigger of the gun and it went off just as Gilligan leaned forward in the driver's seat.

The bullet went through the front seat. It pierced Gilligan in the back, broke three of his ribs and shattered his collarbone. It also caused other severe injuries.


Gilligan originally thought he had been shot by a sniper or someone outside the vehicle. However, he quickly realized the shot had come from his own gun.

At 12:33, Gillian managed to make a call to 911. The Doña Ana County Sheriff's Office first-responders were immediately dispatched.

He was found slumped next to his truck by sheriff’s deputies, Border Patrol agents, and New Mexico State Police. He was airlifted by helicopter to University Medical Centre in El Paso.


While he underwent a number of surgeries, the dogs were held at Animal Service Center of the Mesilla Valley. Gilligan says the dogs are really good dogs that he rescued as puppies. About Charlie, Gilligan says:

"Truth is, (Charlie's) a big, loving dog and would never hurt anybody on purpose."



While playing with his dog, an Iowa man was accidentally shot by his dog. Richard Remme and his dog, Balew, were playing on the couch. Richard tossed the dog off his lap.

When Balew tried to get back on top of him, Richard suspects he managed to disable the safety on the gun that was in Richard's belly band. As the dog jumped on Richard, he stepped on the trigger.

The gun went off and the bullet shot into Richard's leg. There was no serious damage and Richard was treated and released from the hospital the next day.

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