Oro Valley Police confirmed that a dog shot with a pellet gun on Dec. 31 has died.

The dog, an 11-year-old whippet named Winchester, died as result of its injuries on Jan. 14. The dog was shot while staying at a family friend's house on North Sand Canyon Place.

The home is located near a golf course and large desert tract in the area of La Cholla Boulevard and Lambert Lane.

Winchester's owner, Ron Watkins, told The Explorer last week that the dog had undergone surgery to remove a .177-millimeter pellet that ripped through his pancreas and intestines.

Watkins also said the dog had recently overcome cancer surgery and treatment.

Oro Valley police note that pneumatic weapons — such as a pellet, BB and paintball guns — are prohibited from use against animals, even for purposes of hunting. 

Individuals who perpetrate such shootings on animals, either wild or domesticated, can be prosecuted on felony cruelty to animal charges and face as much as one year in prison.

To date, police have no leads in the case.

Watkins has offered a $500 reward for anyone with information leading to an arrest in this case.

Anyone with information pertaining to this animal cruelty case should call the Oro Valley Police Department, Det. Wes Helvig at 229-4900 or call 88-crime.

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