"She was my baby, she was my daughter. Everyone has that one dog that you are always very attached to and Morgan was that one dog," owner Karen LeValley said.
Court documents say the incident happened when 47-year-old Howard Van Nostrand was hunting with his 10-year-old son and another hunter during deer season on October 3, 2014. Van Nostrand said he shot the dog because he felt threatened, and according to court documents, he said he had once been "cornered by dogs when he was younger and didn't want to take that chance again."
However, court documents also say Van Nostrand was positioned 15 feet above the ground in a tree stand when he shot the dog, which was with another dog following a deer down a trail at the time.
The investigation revealed that Van Nostrand and the second hunter sent text messages to each other discussing two dogs that were apparently disrupting their hunting session. Van Nostrand allegedly shot one of the dogs, Morgan, and then notified the second hunter via text message that he had done it.
"It's not an accident, it was a calculated shot. Every shot with a bow is extremely calculated, said owner Craig LeValley. "There's not one thing that I could say to him, because nothing that I can say, nothing I can do will ever bring my dog back."
The LeValleys created a Facebook page that gives updates on the case.
Van Nostrand is charged with cruelty to animals and destruction of personal property greater than $1,000. The case now moves to a jury trial.