Resident's Dog Shot, Killed on Leverington Avenue

Megan Gambone describes broad daylight shooting in her yard.

The Gambone family's dog was shot and killed Saturday afternoon at their Roxborough home.

Megan Gambone said an unknown person fatally shot the family's Labrador mix, Mr. Dogg, around 5:30 p.m. in their yard, on the 400 block of Leverington Avenue.

"Yes, we are sad that our dog died. But what was more troubling is the fact that someone shot a gun in my yard, in broad daylight, when we had children in our home," she said.

The resident said her friend and his daughters were visiting Gambone and her daughter March 24 in the early evening. When company comes over, Gambone or her husband usually put the dog outside until people become acclimated. Mr. Dogg is known to bark.

Ten minutes later, she heard a pop, followed by a yelp.

"It didn't sound like a gun blast or a car backfiring. It was a pop louder than a BB-gun, but not blaring," she said.

Gambone ran outside to find the atmosphere calm.

"It was eerie, so quiet. There was no one running away. There was no car screeching," she said.

When she reached her front yard, she noticed Mr. Dogg was bleeding from an apparent gunshot wound. She tried to contain the bleeding with a towel and duct tape, and took him to the Veterinary Hospital University of Pennsylvania.

Her friend called the police to report the incident.

At the hospital, doctors took X-rays and found a bullet from a .22 caliber pistol. There was no exit wound, she said.

"The bullet punctured his lung and abdomen pretty badly. We had to have him euthanized," she said.

Later, she followed up with Philadelphia Police. There she learned there were no casings found, and they called it an isolated incident.

spokesperson Officer Jillian Russell said Monday that due to a lack of witnesses and more detailed information, police were unable to pursue much of an investigation. 

The Gambones moved to Roxborough five years ago, which is around the same time they adopted Mr. Dogg. She said they've never had any trouble with crime or their dog.

"It was my belief it was a safe neighborhood. That's why we moved her. I've never had any complaints until now," she said. 

She said she wanted neighbors to be aware of the incident, and posted info on it at the forum, EveryBlock.com. Click here to read the post.

Editor's note: An earlier version included Gambone's maiden name, and has been since changed to reflect her married name. Also, the article was changed to include clarified info on where the dog was found.

Moe March 27, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Sorry to hear about the dog. Criminals of every type really make my blood boil. To clear up something mentioned by "J" and "Tim", there is no "gun registry" in PA. The shooter of that dog needs to be punished for committing a crime.
L.Kaiser March 27, 2012 at 02:39 PM
So sorry for the family. I am sure they are heartbroken! Karma to whoever did this.
Debbie Thomas March 27, 2012 at 03:03 PM
I agree, this is a serious issue. I find it appalling that the police don't even want to bother investigating. Whoever did this to Mr. Dogg is obviously a sick individual. They fired a gun into a residential, high traffic area without a care. It's bad enough that a beloved family pet was killed, but what if the bullet went and hit a child or someone in the parking lot?
Bluntmark March 27, 2012 at 04:10 PM
I wish this was a story about MY neighbor's dog.
Tim on Acorn March 27, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Megan, I live on the other side of Gorgas Park from you. There are so many dog owners, including myself, that enjoy this neighborhood. I hate to think that the person who killed your dog lives in our area. For the most part, this is a safe neighborhood. And we need to do everything we can to keep it that way!
wendy March 28, 2012 at 12:15 AM
My husband and I have a business a few blocks away from this incident. And yes we are concerned that a person in the neighborhood, gets so enraged by a dog barking that this person feels the only way to solve the problem is to discharge a firearm and kill the dog. In response to Jim above, we are business owners and pay more taxes than most, so as far as whether you are entitled to a voice based on how much you contribute to the city in tax dollars, I feel we are entitled to a say. When a firearm is discharged in a residential area and the result is the harm or death of a living thing, the very least the police could do is knock on some doors and ask if anyone is aware of a gun owner who may possess a 22 or similar weapon. We know Roxborough very well, the police have plenty of time to attend to these cases, not much going on here. Most of the time the police are ticketing drivers or chasing teenagers. Most of the 5th district is women and older officers nearing retirement. Effective enough for Roxborough, pretty quiet neighborhood.
wendy March 28, 2012 at 12:28 AM
My husband and I are business owners in the vicinity of this incident. We pay a lot of tax dollars and are disturbed by the indifferent attitude of the police. My husband was born and raised in Roxborough, his family has been here for generations, his Grandparents were some of the last people to be buried in St. John the Baptist churchyard. No yuppies here. You however are an ignorant idiot who obviously knows nothing about our neighborhood. It's not hard to figure out what goes on around here, it's a very small town, everyone knows everyone. Some knows, or will know who did this. There are eyes everywhere, wouldn't take much elementary detective work to figure this one out, just by asking a few neighbors a few questions. Keep your uninformed, insensitive remarks to yourself.
Debbie Thomas March 28, 2012 at 12:15 PM
Bluntmark, you're a piece of garbage.
Debbie Thomas March 28, 2012 at 12:24 PM
I agree. Why aren't the police at least going to the homes that are in the vicinity of where this terrible shooting occurred? Also, some of businesses around bound to have surveillance cameras. How about reviewing the video on those? I'm pretty sure there is someone in the vicinity who saw something. It was 5:30 and still light outside. Plus you have people coming and going in the parking lot. I think this is a case of the police being too lazy to do anything. I heard that the 5th district is where officers go when they are near retirement because there's little violent crime to deal with in Roxborough and Manayunk. However, the lack of violent crime doesn't mean they should allow things like the killing of an innocent dog and do nothing. Residents and businesses pay more than their fair share of taxes in Roxborough, yet the police don't want to serve and protect the community. They really don't do anything to address the quality of life issues in the neighborhood either.
Zach Popkin March 28, 2012 at 01:11 PM
our hearts go out to you, megan. this was a heinous and appalling act. if you do anything further to try to get the police to further the investigation, a petition for example, i would be happy to sign and i'm sure most of our neighbors would as well. i am a resident of the 400 block of leverington, and i am now afraid to let our dog play in the yard on her own. this was truly a tragedy carried out by a very cowardly, sociopathic human being.
Dottie Hart March 28, 2012 at 01:39 PM
I'm a dog owner myself and would be devastated if my dog was killed for no apparent reason. I'm sure I speak for most people when I say "our dogs are our four legged children". Although everyone is entitled to their opinion, when something like this happens we should try our best to show our support to the people in our community. After all, everyon's just venting, no reason we should start attacing each other. Even though I don't live there now, I grew up in Roxborough/Manayunk and the only time I have ever seen or heard about a dog being killed was when I was 5 {not that it didn't happen, just never heard}. My heart goes out to Mr. Doggs family.
Bluntmark March 28, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Explain why, Debbie. I want my neighbor's loud dog to die because it wakes my children and keeps me and my wife from a good night's sleep every single night. What a piece of garbage I am for wanting some peace and quiet in my household. Should I just live with the fact that my neighbor, an alcoholic lunatic who beats the dog, is passed out so he can't even attempt to shut the dog up? You people treat dogs like gods. It's hysterical.
Sam Fran Scavuzzo (Editor) March 28, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Hello, everyone. I'd like to keep this dialogue going, but warn that we may remove comments or close the thread if things get out of hand. Let's keep it civil. Thanks, Sam
wendy March 28, 2012 at 02:51 PM
If your neighbor is abusing his dog, do the responsible thing. Make a one minute phone call, it can be anonymous, and report the abuse to the appropriate authorities. No one is holding animals higher than other living things or "like Gods". It is however a known fact that people who abuse animals are much more likely to abuse people. Coupled with alcohol, that neighbor could turn into a much bigger problem than a barking dog. For the safety of yourself and your family, you should take some kind of action. And this is hardly hysterical, nothing funny here at all.
Marc March 28, 2012 at 03:19 PM
bluntmark, You stated that you have children, we had 3 children in our house at the time of the shooting. This is not about our dog, it really isn't, it's about the fact that someone fired a weapon into our yard. A yard where my family and I spend the majority of our time when it is nice out. If you live in the neighborhood I would think you would show more concern about the situation. I feel very fortunate that it was my dog who was shot and not my daughter or one of her friends that was visiting. As for your neighbor, he probably will never get it, and I understand your frustration, why not file a complaint and have the dog removed from his care. We moved here 5 years ago because it is one of the safest neighborhoods in the city. It is our responsibility to maintain that level of safety and not allow these types of things to happen. If we do not make a big deal about "little" crimes, we are accepting them, once that happens we will be in real trouble.
Debbie Thomas March 28, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Please call the Pennsylvania SPCA about your neighbor Bluntmark. If he is abusing the dog, it should be taken away from him.
Bluntmark March 28, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Wendy - you and others most certainly hold dogs higher than some living things...even humans. And when I make the link that his mistreatment of his dog endangers my family in such a way that only SPCA intervention can save my family's life, I'll make the call.
Bluntmark March 28, 2012 at 03:53 PM
While I think your concern for your kids' safety is honorable, the only reason your story is receiving this amount of attention is because it involves a dead dog. It's too bad the cops don't care about it as much as the commenters but that's only because they likely surmised that your kids were not in danger. If they had been, I would like to think they'd have investigated. I hope this incident does not make you think Rox is unsafe. I highly doubt the person who shot your dog would have done so had your children been around.
Bluntmark March 28, 2012 at 03:57 PM
The SPCA will not remove the dog because I said he abused him. Let me clarify -- my neighbor, I believe, hits or kicks the dog when it makes him mad. I can hear my neighbor swear at it and then a yelp and, thankfully, peace and quiet. I see the dog all the time and it does not look abused or neglected. If it does, I will call the SPCA. But they will not take the dog away on these facts.
Debbie Thomas March 28, 2012 at 04:00 PM
People can care about animals and humans you know. I don't understand how you can live next to someone who is abusing a dog, and just because it's not affecting your family, just let it go on.
Bluntmark March 28, 2012 at 04:04 PM
You do not understand because you love dogs so much. I let it go on because the abuse is the only thing that shuts the dog up.
Bluntmark March 28, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Also I am not in a position to stop it.
Debbie Thomas March 28, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Maybe you'll get lucky and that horrible neighbor will move one of these days.
Bluntmark March 28, 2012 at 04:17 PM
I'd love that but I'm not counting on it. Unemployed alcoholics typically do not move -- voluntarily.
Marc March 28, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Children were less than 4 feet away from where he was shot, they were in the yard 5 minutes prior to the shooting. Wouldn't you want answers if someone shot into your yard? I don't care if all they hit was a trashcan. We never wanted this attention, all we wanted is for the people who live near us to be aware, and I think that goal has been accomplished. I still feel safe here, and will not let what happened drastically change my opinion on living here. I am concerned, and if this was a close (proximity) neighbor even more so.
Debbie Thomas March 28, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Marc, your making people aware of what happened is very much appreciated. Whoever this was not only shot your dog, but also had no problem with firing a gun in a residential, high traffic and pedestrian area. I was out of town on Saturday, but if it was warm I'm sure plenty of people would take advantage and sit in their yards to enjoy the day. I still feel safe in Roxborough but it is a cause for concern when you know that somewhere in the neighborhood is a person walking around with a .22 caliber gun. However, I intend to stay for the foreseeable future because I love the area.
Robert April 01, 2012 at 02:13 PM
I was hit by a car at Manayunk train station and the guy give his name address.He broke my leg the police did nothing the guy took off . he hit ran and I am a person. Sorry about your dog I am a animal lover too.
Sam Fran Scavuzzo (Editor) April 02, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Hi Robert. I'd like to talk to you about your incident, if you were interested. Feel free to call/email me, 215-740-6915 or samfran@patch.com.
k April 02, 2012 at 08:34 PM
You want to know why the police didn't do an investigation??? Because the 5th district police do NOTHING but ride around chatting on their cell phones, chatting up pretty young things and napping in their cars...yes, NAPPING!!! I've seen it all and actually called up to the 5th to report it and nothing is ever done. The 5th district is where police come to retire or re-coop from a disability. My father recently called for assistance when he saw a man doing something in the neighborhood (not going to mention circumstances). It took the police 45 minutes to get there and by that time they said there was nothing they could do because they didn't see what my father saw. DUH! If they would've been there when he called, this scum would've been off the streets! Sorry to vent; the local police are one of the reasons why I want to move out of this neighborhood that I was born and raised in!
pam February 22, 2013 at 07:02 PM
If that was my dog I would meet with your district attorney. Just a few hours ago, it was announced that the man who shot and killed his neighbors two dogs would be charged. The cases are different, as these dogs were actually on this man's property. Your police department needs to reopen this case and find the person who committed this crime. If they refuse, I would start a petition on change.org to "encourage" your local police to find your dog's killer.


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