UPDATE: A Whitfield County man has been charged with animal cruelty after witnesses say he shot his dog in the face. 

The little terrier mix survived the ordeal and those witnesses played a big role in saving her live. 

“The x-rays indicated that she had a large cluster of metal pellets in her face which were consistent with a gunshot wound,” Dr. Jeff Richmond with Animal Hospital of Whitfield County said. 

Deputies say her former owner, Charles Anthony Bennet, 54, took her to the Redwine Cove area of Whitfield County and shot her in the face then left her to die. 

Bennet told investigators he did it because the dog had destroyed some of his property. 

But Dr. Richmond says the .22 caliber handgun Bennet used was loaded with a rat shot round causing less damage than a typical round. 

“The cartridge is filled with small lead pellets rather than a single lead bullet head,” he added. 

James Sexton and his wife Nikki were walking their dogs nearby when they heard the gunshot, then saw Bennet take off. 

That’s when the injured pup came walking up. The couple acted by helping deputies catch Bennet and rushing the dog to the vet. 

“From the moment we made contact with her on that road and realized something was wrong with her, she became a part of our family from there on out,” Sexton said. 

Even though she may lose and eye, “Angel” is expected to be okay. 

Sexton says when she’s cleared, she will have a new family and a new home. 

“I just think she’s a tough dog and she’s a survivor and she’s meant to be here with us,” he said. 

And now, Angel will get a chance at a new live inside the loving home she deserves. 

While this story comes with a happy ending, Dr. Richmond says often times, others don’t. And wants to remind the public there are better alternatives and more humane ways than shooting a dog in the woods like shelters, the Humane Society and even your local vet. 

If you’re interested in helping Angel’s recovery, contact the Animal Hospital of Whitfield County at 706-226-3710.

PREVIOUS STORY: A Whitfield County man has been arrested after shooting his dog in the face. 

It happened around 2:45 p.m Thursday in the Redwine Cove area in Dalton.  

Whitfield County Sheriff's deputies arrested Charles Anthony Bennet, 54. 

A veterinarian at the Animal Hospital tells Channel 3 the injury is not life threatening but the dog could lose vision on one eye.

Bennet is booked at the Whitfield County jail, charged with Cruelty to Animals. 

The Whitfield County Sheriff's Office continues to investigate this incident.