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Authorities: Pair charged in botched plan to shoot, kill dog

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MOUNT OLIVE -

Authorities say a Morris County couple shot their dog with a BB gun in a botched effort to kill it because they couldn't afford to care for it.

Animal cruelty charges were recently filed against 26-year-old Keith Ropp, of Mount Olive, and 24-year-old Carly McBride, of Long Valley.

Authorities say the couple brought their 10-year-old border collie, Scout, to a veterinary clinic Saturday and claimed a stranger shot the dog.  

“This is the spinal cord, it passes through right here, so essentially if the BB could have hit one of these areas here, you could have had a paralyzed dog,” says Dr. Nick Minervini at Flanders Veterinary Clinic.

Dr. Minervini says that he and his staff became suspicious when the couple's stories didn't match up and he called police.

Officers later found pellets in Ropp's wallet and a BB handgun that McBride said belonged to her. The couple was charged with weapons offenses and animal cruelty.

Scout is doing well and has been adopted by a vet at the clinic.

“He started following me around the hospital, and you know whenever I'd sit down, he would come put his head on my lap,” says Dr. Jesse Gasparro. “He sleeps under my desk, so we just kind of bonded.”

Ropp and McBride will be in court Oct. 24.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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