Family demands justice after dog shot in head with arrow in Newaygo County

NEWAYGO COUNTY, Mich. -- A family from Newaygo County is searching for answers after their dog was shot in the head with an arrow, which they say was not an accident. They say a neighbor shot their dog after she scared away a deer he had been hunting.

Luckily the dog named Piper survived, but she's been left with severe injuries. The Kyser family was able to take Piper home on Tuesday, but she has a long road ahead.

Piper lost her right eye and eventually will lose hearing in her right ear. They're happy she's alive, but still want justice for their beloved dog who they say was just playing around at the time.

It's a moment owners Millie and Wayne Kyser didn't know they would get.

"We are ecstatic," said Millie Kyser. "She's our baby, one of them, we have a few, but she means a lot to us."

Ecstatic is the only word to describe how she feels after learning Piper was able to go home.

"We knew we had to do everything that we could to hopefully save her," said Kyser.

On Sunday, Piper was shot in the head with an arrow, allegedly by Millie's sister's neighbor. They say Piper was in the woods behind her home playing with two other dogs and ran towards her neighbor who was up in his deer blind.

"He said that they scared a deer off when they came playing through the woods and he was upset," said Kyser.

They say the man shot Piper in the head. Piper then ran more than 100 yards back home.

"Piper made it back to the house," said Kyser. "She made it through barbed wire fencing even though the arrow was sticking out of her head."

They scrambled to get Piper to Blue Pearl Veterinary Hospital in Grand Rapids where she went into surgery.

"The head of the arrow basically went through her eye socket and essentially through her ear canal and lodged in the soft tissues of her neck," said Dr. Amanda Conkling, veterinary surgeon.

Despite losing sight and hearing on her right side, Dr. Conkling says Piper is lucky.

"Basically a couple more inches towards her nose and it would've penetrated her brain," said Conkling. "It very easily could've been fatal for her. She's fortunate."

Piper's owners say they've contacted the DNR and are hoping to get more information soon.

"He was up in a tree so there was no way for her to be violent towards him," said Kyser. "To do what he did was wrong. Never once did we know what there was an issue until it was too late."

The family has a Go Fund Me page set up for Piper's medical expenses. She will likely need more surgeries in the future.

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11 comments

  • ok

    hunting season,,gotta keep those pets secured in the yard . 50/50 at fault here . dont let any dogs run in the woods .all it takes is a hunter to say it was chasing deer .

    • Don't agree!

      Piper should have been in her yard yes, however I don’t find it ok to shot her in the head because she chased off your deer. You do you solve all problems with violence? Do you yell at co-workers every time they do something you don’t like? The hunter should have been a man and grew a pair and talked with his neighbors before trying to murder the family dog. That man was a coward and obviously very narrow minded hunting is a sport and a privilege NOT a right. You get unfair calls in any sports all the time doesn’t mean you get to shoot the refs!

        • Bob

          It is against state law for a hunter to shoot a dog. It has to be done by an officer of the law. The owner could be responsible for game that was killed. This hunter only said the dog scared the deer. This does not sound like it was running deer.

        • Justice for Piper

          I know this family and they them selves are hunters. Piper was playing in the woods with the two other dogs she lives with, the deer was scared off by this! Piper was sitting in front of the hunter in his tree stand and then was shot in the eye because he was mad! If you as a fellow hunter feels this is ok I feel unsafe knowing you carry a fire arm. I am agreeing that sure it’s frustrating he didn’t get his deer but piper didn’t harm anyone or anything. He’s a coward he should have talked about it with her owners piper clearly had a collar and tags on. I myself put orange on my dog this time of year and I would hope if a hunter sees my dog, if she accidentally runs off would reframe from shooting her. I hope hunters learn from her story. We don’t need cave men with small brains out there shooting b.c they think it’s justice.

        • mike

          Don’t think that most people who are commenting are hunters. More hunters than not would have shot a dog who was trespassing and chasing deer. If you own a pet it should be kept on your property. If it wouldn’t stay there it needs to be secured. Otherwise, things can happen. Sad, being I am a huge dog lover. But if you are a responsible pet owner things like that won’t happen.

        • mrhockey101

          Yeah, and if you shot my dog, YOU would not be running no more either, Mr. fake tough guy. People like you are why the perception of hunters is turning negative. Small-brained, small-dick punks like yourself, putting the “thrill” of killing something ahead of all else. I hope you fall out of your stand and an arrow goes through you neck.

  • Michelle Williams

    I live in Newaygo county and my heart goes out to these people and Piper. It is illegal to shoot a dog unless in self defense and I was informed of this by the Newaygo County Animal control. This person should not get away with this and at the very least should have to pay for the vet bills.

    • Todd Nagel

      It’s also illegal (a misdemeanor) for a person to let their dog run loose. I know 2 wrongs don’t make a right and I don’t agree with what the hunter did but if the dog owner had acted as a responsible pet owner and not let their dog run loose then none of this would have happened.

  • Bob

    Hunters need to learn to read No Trespassing signs in Newaygo County also, and stop using the excuse that they thought this was state land. After reading the response of so called hunters on this matter. I will no longer blow off their excuses and report it to the DNR.

    • Luanne Nelson

      Many, many years ago, our two Irish setters got out of the dog pen at my in-laws home near Grant. The female came back with a bullet hole in her and the male was never found. My husband, an avid hunter, was reasonably certain that the male had probably been shot by a hunter. The female recovered. For year afterward, we stopped and looked at every Irish setter we saw as we continued to mourn him. Were we “bad” pet owners because we fenced them in a pen that they could escape from? I don’t know. But I do know that we missed him terribly and mourned him for years…. I do not understand how anyone could intentionally kill a dog, even one who disturbs your hunting. Any pet owner know that they become an important part of the family, beloved as other family members. How can anyone make the conscious decision to end that life?