- Sonny Gilligan, of Doña Ana County, New Mexico, was hunting with his three dogs when he was shot.
- He was in the front seat of his parked vehicle on October 25, when his dog, Charlie, put his paw on the trigger of a shotgun in the back seat.
- Gilligan was able to reach his phone and call 911 and he was transported by helicopter to University Medical Center in El Paso.
A 74-year-old man in New Mexico is recovering after his beloved pet dog accidentally shot him with a shotgun during a hunting trip.
Sonny Gilligan, of Doña Ana County, was in the front seat of his parked vehicle on October 25, when his dog, Charlie, put his paw on the trigger of a shotgun in the back seat and put a bullet into his owner’s back, the Las Cruces Sun News reported.
Gilligan was able to reach his phone and call 911, and he was transported by helicopter to University Medical Center in El Paso.
“Charlie got his foot in the trigger of the gun and I leaned forward and he slipped off the seat and caught the trigger – and it shot,” Gilligan told the Sun News. “It was a freak accident but it’s true, that’s what happened.”
WATCH: He was hunting rabbits. Then, on a break with his three dogs, his dog Charlie shot the hunter with his rifle. Sonny Gilligan is in critical condition, but he's very concerned his canines were put into "doggie jail." https://t.co/lRJLFiqlYb
— WISH-TV (@WISH_TV) November 1, 2018
The incident happened after Gilligan went jackrabbit hunting with Charlie and his two other dogs, Scooter and Cowboy.
He was parked when Charlie, a 120-pound Rottweiler mix, put his paw on the shotgun’s trigger.
A bullet went through the driver’s seat and into Gilligan’s back, breaking ribs and shattering his collar bone.
He also had to be treated for a punctured lung and was in intensive care at the hospital, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.
Gilligan initially thought he was shot by someone outside the car before realising it was bullets from his own gun that hit him.
His son, Mark, told KRQE that Gilligan has forgiven Charlie, even though the incident could have killed him.
When Gilligan was taken to the hospital, his three dogs were taken to a county shelter, and the man’s main concern was getting his pets out of what he called “doggie jail,” according to Mark.
“He spoils his dogs, you know. He calls them his boys. He’s very fond of his animals,” Mark said.