LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A woman says she has lost a beloved family pet all because of a senseless act of violence. She tells us her dog was hit and killed in a drive-by shooting.
It happened overnight outside her home on Chiles Avenue in Lexington where Dora Starks has lived for 45 years.
"I have no enemies," said Dora Starks, the dog owner. "Everybody around here loves Ms. Dora. And I love them."
She has dogs instead of children.
"They are my kids. They are!" said Starks. "Earl was my son. He was my boy. And Haley is my girl."
11-year-old boxer pit Earl and five-year-old boxer Haley are her pride and joy. But she's only left with her little girl.
"She knows that he's gone. She knows something is not right, so she's been kind of staying close to me," said Starks.
Just before midnight while inside her home, Starks says she heard four gunshots just moments after she let out her two dogs. Only one came back in.
"And when I opened the door, there was Earl laying on the side of the yard," said Starks.
It was already too late for her boxer pit.
"I saw him when he took his last breath. It was very hard, very hard," said Starks.
She has lost pets in the past, but she never expected to lose one like this. The only explanation Starks and police have is that it was a random, senseless act.
"He was shot in the head, so they had to have been aiming at him when they did that," said Starks.
Without Earl, she says the holiday season won't be the same.
"I had put little Santa hats on them and sunglasses and stuff," said Starks. "They're not just a pet to you. They are your family, and they're all the family that I had."
The dog owner also tells us she will now take her dog out in her backyard instead of out front because of what happened.