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Police say dog shot by neighbor

A Dade City man is charged with animal cruelty. The dog is being treated by a veterinarian.

When Clemente Bonilla got home from work Tuesday afternoon, Dede, the family dog, made it clear that she needed to go outside.

So Bonilla let the dog out and watched her disappear through an opening in the bushes.

Three minutes later, he said, "I heard a bullet . . . Pow!"

He heard Dede whimpering, then saw the blood spurting from the dog's rear end as she ran toward him.

Police said Dede was shot by a neighbor, Derrick Rennard Smith, 24. Smith, the Dade City Police Department reported, fired a single round from a .25-caliber pistol at the 6-month-old, German shepherd-Labrador retriever mix.

"The dog was in (Smith's) back yard, so he shot it," police Capt. David Duff said.

Smith, of 37531 Oak View Circle, was charged with one felony count of animal cruelty. He was booked into the Pasco County jail Tuesday in Land O'Lakes and released after posting $5,000 bail.

Smith could not be reached for comment.

As Bonilla tried to comfort Dede on the family's back stoop, he said he looked up and saw Smith holding a gun.

"Man, no reason," Bonilla, 33, recalled saying to himself.

"(Smith) walked up and said, "Man, I'm sorry. I didn't know it was your dog,' " Bonilla, a construction worker in Tampa, remembers Smith saying.

"I told him, "It doesn't matter whose dog it was.' "

Bonilla's wife, Christina, was walking in the front door from work when she heard a gunshot.

"I didn't think anything of it," she said. "I thought it was one of the kids in the neighborhood shooting off a firecracker."

They took Dede to a Dade City veterinarian, where the dog remained Wednesday.