ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- A woman is searching for answers after she said her service dog was shot by a neighbor in North City.

Abigail Barnes said her 10-month-old Great Pyrenees, named Butter, escaped her fence Friday afternoon and began walking over to the neighbor’s yard. Barnes said she told the man Butter was a service dog and was headed to get her.

“I made it about halfway over there before he ran back out and just shot her in the face,” Barnes said.

Barnes said the man ran inside, grabbed a gun and fired at Butter from a ledge on the porch. She said she watched as the bullet went through Butter’s nose and out her neck. She said the man ran down the street before St. Louis Police and Animal Control arrived. Butter was rushed to an animal hospital and had to be put down.

“Her face was hanging off the side of her mouth, blood was just everywhere,” Barnes said.

Barnes told News 4 Butter was more than a companion. The registered service dog helped her cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“When I was 15 I was beaten and raped, and I was violated, and it messed me up a lot and I have a hard time coping,” Barnes said.

According to the Stand Your Ground law, Missourians have the right to defend themselves with a gun if they feel their life is threatened with deadly force. However, in this case, Barnes doesn’t believe that law applies.

“I just don’t understand why you would come back out and shoot her in the face if you’re already in the house,” Barnes said.

St. Louis police said due to conflicting statements, this case is being handled as a non-criminal incident. News 4 will provide updates as this investigation continues.  

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