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A Waverly man is facing possible felony charges after shooting a dog with an air rifle Tuesday afternoon.

Gary Furtwangler, 56, was cited and lodged on Friday in Waverly by the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office for animal cruelty after shooting a dog that ran into his yard.

The dog, a 9-year-old Vizsla named Copper, was off its leash on Waverly Intermediate School's football field around 7:30 p.m. when it ran into a nearby yard. The dog's owners, Lucas and Kerry Ropte, heard a single gunshot, Sheriff Terry Wagner said.

When Copper ran back, the couple discovered a BB pellet had gone through one of its hind legs and body where it became stuck in its neck, Wagner said.

Copper was taken to an emergency vet who told police on Thursday he was optimistic about Copper’s recovery, but police said they didn’t have any updated information.

Lucas Ropte was cited and released for allowing a dog to run at large. The penalty is a fine of up to $25.

During the investigation, deputies said they recovered a Gamo pellet rifle and Crosman pellets. Gamo pellet rifles are often advertised for hunting small game.

It is illegal to shoot a dog simply for being in a yard, Wagner said, and illegal to discharge a firearm within Waverly city limits.

The dog's owners could not be reached for comment. 

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