Two dogs were shot in California.

Two Dogs Were Shot After Being Mistaken For Pit Bulls, Beloved Boxers Mourned By Owner

In a terrible tragedy in a California neighborhood, two dogs were shot after escaping from their yard at the beginning of January. The beloved boxers are now dead, leaving their owners to mourn their loss. The shooter had apparently mistaken them for a couple of pit bulls and chose to end their lives in an instant.

The two adorable boxers, Cope and Penny, were around the corner of owner Michelle Shafer’s home when shots were fired in a residential neighborhood in the town of Valley Acres. As soon Shafer received a call from a neighbor saying that Cope and Penny had been in her yard, she and her husband took off to bring them back home. However, they were horrified at the scene when they got there. She told the full tragic story on her Facebook page, complete with some disturbing photos of her dogs after being shot.

Lying on the side of the road already dead was their pooch Cope. His companion Penny had been shot as well but was still alive at that point. She was obviously suffering from having a bullet hole on her back side. Unfortunately, she was later euthanized.

After the two dogs were shot, a man confessed to the Shafer family that he was the one who killed them with his 20-gauge shotgun. He told them that he thought they were pit bulls and grabbed his gun to shoot them. He said that he had no idea that they were their dogs and apologized for his mistake.

By then, the sheriffs had shown up to the scene where the dogs had been shot. Michelle said that they had to drive 35 minutes to take Penny to the emergency vet, where they had to put her down. She and her family had to say an emotional goodbye to their beloved pet who brought them so much joy. They had now lost their two dogs in a case of mistaken identity of dog breeds.

Cope and Penny are beloved pets. (Photo by Justice 4 Cope & Penny Facebook)
Cope and Penny were beloved pets. [Photo by Justice 4 Cope & Penny Facebook]

It seemed that Penny and Cope were in familiar territory. In their minds, they may have been paying a visit to some family members that used to live in the shooter’s same house. Michelle Shafer mentioned that her brother had lived there and her parents lived across the street, and so the two dogs may have been there trying to visit with them. She said that they had often walked them down there on weekly visits and had stayed with them as well. It looked like they really meant no harm to anyone and didn’t know that the family had moved away.

Apparently, the man who shot the dogs said that Cope and Penny were attacking his small Yorkie and that was why he grabbed his shotgun, thinking that they were pit bulls. However, according to the Shafers, there was no record of any dog of that breed being taken to a vet, nor did they find any evidence of a dog fight having taken place in his yard.

Seeking justice for Cope and Penny (Photo by Justice 4 Cope & Penny Facebook)
Seeking justice for Cope and Penny [Photo by Justice 4 Cope & Penny Facebook]

The sheriff told Shafer that the shooter should have chosen other means of dealing with this rather than firing a 20-gauge shotgun, such as using a water hose or a stick. Nothing of the shooter’s story seems to have panned out thus far. No one else had seen any type of aggression from Cope and Penny. In fact, one lady who lived across the street had told them that the two dogs were having fun with her Pomeranians right before this tragic incident.

So far, the man has not been held responsible for the deaths of these two boxers. Shafer said that as far as she knows right now, he wasn’t even fined for killing the canines or for firing shots in a residential neighborhood. She is now seeking justice for Cope and Penny and hoping to get something resolved for him to be accountable for their deaths.

These dogs were shot at close range, with Penny trying to run away from him. She may have been scared after her best friend was killed right in front of her. At the very least, it seems that she should have been spared being shot at since she may have been trying to get back home.

A Facebook page called “Justice 4 Cope & Penny,” as well as a petition on, has been set up asking for charges of animal cruelty to be brought against the shooter.

[Photo by Justice 4 Cope & Penny Facebook}