NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A New Hanover County man is charged with cruelty to animals after a dog was found shot to death.
The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office arrested Alex Christian Hollinger, 24, on Saturday.
William Fulcher says when his neighbor moved in, he introduced himself and his dogs. He says his neighbor started complaining about one dog’s barking.
The Sheriff’s Office said an Animal Service Unit investigator went to a home located on Horn Road at the request of the owner of a dog who had passed away.
The ASU investigator began her investigation which led to Hollinger, the next door neighbor. Hollinger was interviewed and charged with four counts of felony cruelty to animals.
“If it was a human being, he wouldn’t even be out on bail, He’s out on bail right,” Fulcher said. “Now and he took a life. A life that’s precious to us.”
Fulcher said their dog Gibson was like a third child.
“He wasn’t just a dog to me,” said Caleb Hyatt, one of Fulcher’s sons. “He was my child. he was my son.”
Fulcher says his new neighbor, Alex Hollinger, had complained about Gibson’s barking. The family bought a bark collar to keep him from barking all day.
“I was like, ‘Hey man. How are things going? How’s his barking?’ Fulcher said. “And he’s like, it’s much better, man. I really appreciate that.’ and I was like, ‘Cool.'”
Fulcher says that was the last time he heard from his neighbor.
Last week, Fulcher and his fiance raced home after his son called, thinking Gibson had cut himself and was bleeding.
They took the dog to the vet and discovered the truth.
“When they did the x-rays, that’s when we realized he had not cut himself at all,” Fulcher’s fiance said. “He had been shot.”
Vets found four bullet fragments inside Gibson. Hollinger was arrested and charged with four counts of felony cruelty to animals.
“It hurts when you’re holding something you love as it’s dying, and it looks you in the eye one last time and you can’t bring it back,” Hyatt said.
Fulcher says Hollinger admitted to shooting the dog. Investigators found blood spattered throughout the yard and a break in the fence separating the two yards.
Fulcher and his family just want justice.
“We’re not going to see him at the foot of our bed ever again,” Fulcher said. “I want the public to demand that that law be enforced. I want him to go to jail for a felony.”
Hollinger posted bail. During his court appearance Monday, his bond did not change.
He has agreed to turn in all his firearms for the remainder of the investigation. He is also ordered to have no contact with Fulcher and his family.