Dog shot in the face trying to protect her Webster County home

WEBSTER COUNTY, Mo. A terrifying discovery for a local family.

The Webster County family came home to find that not only their house broken into but their family pet shot.

"I've always known that I-44 is probably one of the biggest for trafficking, not only drugs but thieves and criminals as well. I think us being as close to the highway as we are, I think that that played a huge factor in us being targeted," said Samantha Schoenthaler.

She and her fiancé live in a quiet part of Webster County, on a farm, where they consider it very peaceful.

That is until someone broke into their house.

"We live so far out in the country we just locked the door. We didn't deadbolt it," she said.

After kicking the door in, they met Shelby.

"She's very protective over myself and my fiancé and definitely the house," said Schoenthaler.

Rather than leave after encountering the three year-old German shepherd, the thieves went after her.

"She has a gunshot wound under her neck and it went through her tongue then out the top of her nose," said Scoenthaler as she described Shelby's injuries.

The burglars then made off with just two guns, no other valuables and left Shelby severely injured.

"I guess I'm not really surprised that somebody would break into a house. I guess I'm surprised that they would shoot a dog in the process. I mean, you have to be extremely heartless," she said.

Veterinarians worked fast to save Shelby.

Schoenthaler said, "I was praying to God that she was not dead. She's lucky. I mean very, very lucky."

She said Shelby will make a full recovery physically but emotionally she's still a little skittish.

Schoenthaler wants everyone in her quiet, peacefully, country community to be 'on guard.'

"Be aware. Be aware of your surroundings. Be armed. Be protected. Whatever it is to make your home, your family, everything safe," she said.

Though Schoenthaler has filed a police report, the chances of finding the people who broke into her house and nearly killed Shelby are slim to none.