Family adopts the brother of ‘Gibson’, the dog allegedly killed by neighbor


NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — In late March, a dog named Gibson was allegedly shot multiple times by a neighbor. He later died due to the injuries according to his owners.

Now a new pup has been placed in their lives and for a special reason. Roughly two months since losing Gibson, Leigh West and Billy Fulcher got a message from a nearby animal clinic that she works for.

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“As soon as we met him it was just oh my gosh it was really emotional,” said West. “It’s kind of almost like fate.”

A family was displaced due to Florence according to West. She says they had to surrender their dog. This dog and Gibson have a lot in common.

“How could I say ‘no’ to that? How could I not take Gibson’s brother,” said West. “I think we made the right decision. I’m in love with this dog he’s the sweetest.”

He’s now named Baby Dog and he was in the same litter as Gibson. It took one night of taking him back home to meet the other dogs and children. By then they knew Baby Dog was the source of healing they needed.

“It’s been really hard and I think having the opportunity to get his brother has really helped us in that healing process,” West said.

The process is slow moving for the family. Fulcher told us in April that their neighbor Alex Hollinger admitted to shooting Gibson with a pellet gun. He says Hollinger complained about the dog’s constant barking. Fulcher had bought a barking collar to deter the dog from being a nuisance. Since the incident, Hollinger was released on bail.

Gibson (Photo: Billy Fulcher)

“We’re kind of powerless to that whole process,” said Fulcher.

Hollinger faces five counts of cruelty to animals. His next day in court is set for September. The family has little control over the judicial process, but they knew they were given a choice with Baby Dog.

“We needed him and he needed us,” said West.

They could have seen the dog and thought about the pain of the past and Gibson’s passing, but instead they thought about the compassion and potential peace that Baby Dog could provide them.They say it was an easy choice to take him in to honor his late brother.