Report shows dog believed to be shot by mayoral candidate died f - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Report shows dog believed to be shot by mayoral candidate died from distemper

Source: Josh Jordan Source: Josh Jordan
Source: Josh Jordan Source: Josh Jordan
Source: Josh Jordan Source: Josh Jordan
JACKSON (Mississippi News Now & AP) -

Days after being reported missing, a dog owned by a neighboring family was found dead in Pearl mayoral candidate Mike Prestage's back yard.

READ MORE: Pearl mayoral candidate arrested for allegedly shooting and killing neighbor's dog

Some reported hearing gunshots coming from Prestage's home, but a new report from Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine shows the dog died from distemper.

Now while distemper and other viruses like Parvo are more common during this time of year, Debra Boswell, Executive Director at MARL,  says it can take weeks for the virus to set in and claim a life.

"It can attack the spinal cord," Boswell explains. "It will affect the brain. It can cause seizures and paralysis in the later stages."

The owner of the dog says neighbors reported hearing gunshots only 45 minutes after the dog had been treeing squirrels in his backyard. 

The dog had also been bred just three days before it went missing. The owner believes these activities are all very physical activities the dog would not have been able to do if the virus was actually to the point where death was imminent.

"From our experience, what we see here, once they are symptomatic to that level, they would be pretty much too sick to engage in that type of activity," Bowell said.

Prestage was arrested and released for shooting the dog, but he is expected to appear in court on April 27.

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