Family pets are often just what we call them... family.
Which is exactly why one local family is looking to protect one of their own after she was shot and injured this past weekend.
Patty became a family pet for Gayla and her husband Greg after he suffered a stroke a few years ago. Although she is not specially trained as a service dog, Gayla said she helps take care of Greg and alerts her when something is wrong.
"Whatever sense dogs have that they recognize that people have medical issues, she attached to those and she certainly recognizes it," explained Amarillo local and Patty's owner, Gayla Blades. "It's a God thing and a Patty thing. Her, Glen and God just worked that out."
Just this past weekend, Gayla and Greg found what appeared to be shots from some kind of BB or pellet gun on Patty's hind legs.
"Glen called me and was very upset. He had found wounds on Patty, about four places, one pretty good size," said Gayla.
Gayla also said she doesn't think anyone she knows would have intentionally hurt Patty because of how important she is to her family.
"I'm hoping it was just a childhood prank and when they realize how important she is , we can keep her safe," added Gayla. "She's not just a backyard dog."
By nearly noon on Monday, Gayla had not yet filed a police report on the incident but said she still planned to. According to the Amarillo Police Department if a report was filed for an incident like this and a suspect was found, the suspect could be found guilty of cruelty to a non-livestock animal and they could be sentenced with a state jail felony penalty, which could be anywhere from 180 days to two years, and a maximum of a $10,000 fine.