The news hit Adriana Gonzalez like a freight train.
"I didn't want to believe it," she said.
Her beloved pet was found shot dead.
"Julian didn't deserve to die," she said.
The 2-year-old Chihuahua mix died last Thursday from a single gunshot wound.
"I know he wasn't trying to hurt anybody," Adriana said.
Her family's love for dogs is pretty evident.
They own 9 animals, mostly Pit-bulls.
Adriana says big money has been spent to try and safeguard them.
It includes an underground concrete slab that sits below fencing to prevent the dogs from digging out.
She also has cinder blocks piled onto of each other to seal off any gaps in fencing.
But somehow her dog Julian escaped.
"Yes, he got out," Adriana admitted. "How? I don't know. I don't know how that happened. But not to be murdered like that."
To further complicate matters, the alleged triggerman, who Adriana says admitted to shooting the dog to law enforcement, is her cousin.
It reportedly stems from a family feud that began six months ago.
A shooting can be considered justifiable in Texas if an animal was discovered on a person's property and in the act of killing livestock or posing a threat to residents or livestock, according to Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino.
The sheriff says the man shot the dog because he thought his roosters were under attack.
Previously, Adriana's pets have been blamed for other livestock deaths on his property; although she says there has never been any proof.
This time around the sheriff says her neighbor fired his weapon after the dog already ran away.
Adriana showed Action 4's Ryan Wolf where it happened.
"The dog was murdered right on county property," she pointed out.
That's in front of her cousin's home outside the fence.
Sheriff Trevino says none of the man's roosters have been injured or disturbed in any way.
"In my opinion, it's animal cruelty," Adriana said.
A possible criminal charge that has not been ruled out, according to the sheriff.
He plans to have his investigator call both parties to the sheriff's department to obtain additional statements before deciding a final course of action.