US: Dog shoots owner in the leg | News | DW | 11.05.2018
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US: Dog shoots owner in the leg

Iowa man Richard Remme was hospitalized after his dog managed to shoot him in the leg. The 51-year-old man said he and the dog were "horsing around."

Screenshot showing Richard Remme with his dog on gofundme website (

Remme's son set up a gofundme donation page for his father's hospital bills

A man suffered a gunshot wound in the US state of Iowa when his dog jumped on his lap and inadvertently set off a handgun on the man's belt, according to the local media.

The man, Richard Remme, told The Messenger newspaper that his pit bull-lab mix, Balew, managed to flick off the safety from his 9mm Ruger. At the time, Remme and his family pet were playing on the couch in his home in the Iowa town of Fort Dodge.

"I was lying on the couch, and we were horsing around, me and the dog," he told the Fort Dodge-based newspaper. "And I was tossing him off my lap, and he was jumping back on my lap."

"Apparently he bumped the safety one time, and when he bounded back over one of his toes went right down into the trigger guard," he added.

Read more:  European gunmakers flood the US with firearms

Remme's Ruger pistol features a standard thumb safety, which is a small lever on the side of the firearm that needs to be switched off before the gun can be fired, and a trigger safety, which is placed in the center of the weapon's trigger and prevents firing if the middle of the trigger finger is not pressing directly on it.

The dog, however, "managed to hit both of them, and it discharged and went into my leg," Remme said.

Police on the scene after dog discharged weapon in Fort Dodge (picture-alliance/AP Images/J. Sutter)

Police came to Remme's family home after the shooting

Owner taken to Des Moines

The 51-year-old man then phoned the emergency services and told the dispatcher: "My dog shot me."

He was treated in the local hospital after the Wednesday incident and released on the same day. However, the following day he was transported to a hospital in the state capital of Des Moines after his injury turned out to be more serious.

The Messenger newspaper said he was being treated for internal bleeding and the doctors were planning to cauterize a vein in his leg.

"The bullet is still in my leg," he told the paper.

Read more: Walmart raises minimum age for buying guns to 21

A 'big wuss' of a dog

Local police chief Roger Porter said he had never before heard of such incident.

"I've heard of guns dropping and going off on the floor, and horsing around and guns going off," he said. "I can't say I've heard a dog story before."

The dog, Balew, appeared upset over the gun going off, according to Remme. The Iowa man described his dog as a "big wuss" who laid down and cried after the incident.

"He thought he was in trouble for doing something wrong."

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dj/kms (AFP, AP)

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