LAPEER, Mich. (WWJ/AP) – A  man charged with shooting his dog in the head with a crossbow faces sentencing today.

Christopher Scott of Goodland Township is to return Thursday to Lapeer County District Court after he pleaded guilty Dec. 18 to a charge of abandoning or cruelty to an animal resulting in death.

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His 65-pound black-coated mastiff-Labrador mix named Gemma was found wandering in March with an arrow lodged above her left eye. [See a photo here — Image may be disturbing]. Some reports say she could have been shot with the arrow days before she was discovered.

A veterinarian later removed the arrow, and Gemma spent months recovering at an animal rescue before she was placed up for adoption in the fall.

“Surprisingly enough the arrow did not do any long-term damage to Gemma’s brain.  Four months later she is a totally happy, normal functioning dog!” her Devoted Barn profile reads.

In binding Scott over for trial, Judge John Conover said pets today are revered animals and the days of euthanizing a dog “Old Yeller” style behind the barn “are long, long gone.”

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Scott’s lawyer argued that his client’s actions were justified, saying Scott was trying to kill the dog because it had killed another dog — a pug — “literally ripping out its throat.”

He said Scott had genuine fear because he has five children in the home and young children living next door.

Scott faces up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Sentencing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 and for the latest.

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