FALLENTIMBER - Charges are pending against an unnamed Cambria County individual who shot a German shepherd in the head sometime last week in Frugality.
Meanwhile, St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church parishioners barked back at accusations made by Dogs Deserve Better that church members ignored the injured stray.
Ebensburg State Trooper Bruce Bocci did not identify who shot the dog Tuesday but said charges will be filed in the days ahead at Magisterial District Judge Charity Nileski's office in Cresson.
Dogs Deserve Better founder Tamira Thayne, who has been taking care of the dog, said Bocci indicated that investigators are exploring whether the shooting was accidental.
She said several stories have spread on how and where the dog was shot.
The dog, which she named Ezekiel, had been spending time in a bush behind the church in Frugality and Thayne accused the parish of turning away from the animal in its time of need.
The remarks stung church members, said Diane Moyer of Blandburg, who first noticed the dog last week. She said she fed the dog several times and then called Dogs Deserve Better for help once the dog approached her and she realized it was injured.
Moyer said when she went to buy food for the dog, she and her sister each pitched in $5 for a lottery ticket. The ticket was a winner, worth $100, and she gave the ticket to Thayne to help with the dog's expenses.
After what she did to help the dog, she said she was "shocked" the following day when angry phone calls and angry e-mails started flooding into the church.
"I thought we were calling someone who would take care of the situation - not blow it out of proportion," Moyer said, adding many church members are confused and saddened by Thayne's accusations. "I can't understand why she'd say these things."
A few fellow parishioners told Moyer the dog had apparently been coming and going for a week "but most people at the church probably didn't even know the dog was even there," she added, saying the church only has Saturday and Sunday services.
The dog was also spending time behind the parish hiding in a bush that faced a hill and Route 53, she added, saying she wouldn't have spotted it either if she hadn't been watering flowers.
Thayne credited Moyer for her donation Tuesday and said she had "no beef" with the woman.
"She was the one who called us and it was her story about the dog that caught our attention," Thayne said, contending Moyer was frustrated no one showed concern for the dog sooner. "We went by what she told us."
Moyer said Thayne "sensationalized everything."
She said a few parishioners apparently stayed clear of the dog days earlier but only because it had been growling and they were afraid they would get bitten.
"It wasn't neglect," she said, saying the dog had apparently come to the property and then left. "When I found the poor dog, I wasn't afraid to approach it. I'm a retired UPS driver. I was used to this sort of thing."
Mirror Staff Writer David Hurst is at 946-7457.