A Highlands couple is in disbelief after their 10-month-old puppy was shot at least a dozen times with a pellet gun.

Lorne King says his yellow Labrador named Ozzy left their yard around 11 a.m. on Wednesday and began acting strangely by the afternoon.

The dog was bleeding in several areas on his body and the family took him to the vet.

Lorne’s wife, Debra, says staff at the clinic couldn’t believe what had happened.

“This doesn’t happen in Victoria, we’re in a beautiful area out in the Highlands … there’s all sorts of wild animals, I mean that’s why we moved out here,” Debra said.

The vet dug out at least three pellets and Ozzy has to go back for X-rays next week to see if more pellets aren’t lodged in his body. 

“Emotionally I could not believe that I live in a neighbourhood that somebody is shooting my dog,” Debra said. “I felt out of control with my emotions last night because he was in a lot of pain, he whimpered all night.”

The dog owner says she’s also worried that Ozzy didn’t run away after the first shot.

“That’s the kind of dog he is, he’s a people dog he loves people,” she added. “I mean look at him, how could anybody do that to an innocent animal?”

Mounties say the violent act appears to be deliberate and the person responsible could receive a fine for animal cruelty as well as criminal charges.

“We don’t hear of it happening very often, but when it does it’s something we take very seriously,” said Const. John Varley with the West Shore RCMP.

The couple says they have an idea of who may have shot Ozzy, but they will leave it to the police to deal with the issue.

“It makes me sick, this whole thing makes me so sick,” Debra said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.