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Sumner Co. family's dog shot in head, still lives with bullet lodged

SUMNER COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) - Who shot a Sumner County family's dog in the skull?  

It happened on their property last week. The dog is amazingly still alive.  

What makes this story even worse, though, is the dog is the best friend of a girl who was severely injured in a horrific jet ski accident last summer.  

The dog has been like a therapy animal for her during her recovery, and now she has to nurse her best friend back to health.  

It's been a hard nine months for Emily Milam, who was critically injured this past summer while swimming at the Cheatham Dam.  

"It's been pretty hard. Can't do a lot of what I use to do so,” said Emily.  

On July 29, the now 19-year-old was struck by a run-a-way jet ski at the Cheatham Dam. Emily suffered compound fractures of her right arm and a severe head injury that forced her to lose consciousness in the water.  

She underwent surgery and may still need another operation.  

Emily's mother told News 2 her daughter has constant headaches and is always in pain 

"I remember we were on the shoreline and seeing it coming and nothing we could do to stop it. I saw it hit her, crash right into her,” said Emily’s mother Gloria Edwards.  

Emily said she doesn't know if she would have made it this far in her recovery if not for her best friend, Cassie, a 2-year-old Australian Shepherd.  

In a terrible twist to an already terrible story, Cassie was shot in the skull.  

It happened Apr. 2 on the family's property. The dog has a gaping hole in its skull. The bullet is still lodged in the animal's head. The family and vets are amazed the animal is still alive. 

“I probably wouldn't be here right now if not for him,” said Emily.  

Who did it and why is not yet known.  

"He was out here in the yard and someone decided to shoot him in the head. This is the dog that helped her through her months and as you see someone shot him in the head," said Gloria.  

Investigators with the Sumner County Sheriff's Department said they are working this case for clues and if anyone has any information give them a call.  

The family says it'll cost around $2,500 to save Cassie's life. They have started a GoFundMe. Click here to donate.

The man who lost control of that watercraft was just indicted by a Cheatham County grand jury on multiple counts. 

The victim's family has strong memories of that day and harsh words for the man who caused the crash. 

On July 29, 2018, Terry Merritt Jr. Lost control of his jet ski. The watercraft's kill switch was not working, and the vessel raced to the beach and struck multiple people before coming to a rest 50 plus feet on the sand. 

18-year-old Emily Milam was the most severely injured.   

"I have been doing a lot of therapy for my arm, but it is not fully functional. It has affected my daily life.” 

Now 19-years-old, Emily remembers little before the crash.  

“The first thing I remember is being on the float and going to the shore and the last thing I remember is waking up in the hospital to go home.”  

At the time of the incident, Merritt walked away from his jet ski which was caught on a deputy's body camera.  

Emily said she had dreamed of becoming a police officer and working with k9's. Now, those dreams are on hold. 

“She can't do nothing, because some careless person went out on the water and took seven, eight months of her life,” said Gloria. 

Terry Merritt Jr. was charged with multiple felonies including aggravated assault and reckless endangerment.   

Merritt is back in court in July. 


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