ELBERT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – A dog was shot after attacking a neighbors’ chickens in Elbert County, and now the animal’s fate may rest with the district attorney’s office.

The animal dispute now heads to court. The dog’s owner, Noelle Linder, admits her pet got out, but she says that’s no reason to kill it and she’s petitioning the district attorney to spare the dog’s life.

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Sophie (credit: CBS)

Sophie (credit: CBS)

More than 17,000 people have already signed the petition just within a few days. Linder hopes it’s enough to keep her puppy from being put down.

“We’re good pet owners. It was just an accident that she slipped out,” Linder told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia.

Linder and boyfriend Anthony Maguire say their 1-year-old husky Sophie slipped out of her collar and chased after their neighbors’ chickens. Maguire ran over to find Sophie, then just 7-months old, had been shot four times in the neck and hind leg.

Sophie (credit: Noelle Linder)

Sophie (credit: Noelle Linder)

“I bent down to get her and she was just choking on her own blood, and so I just started crying,” Linder said.

“I was just horrified, and it was one of the worst things that has ever happened to me,” Maguire said.

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Sophie survived, but according to the citation, four chickens did not.

CBS4's Melissa Garcia interviews Anthony Maguire and Noelle Linder (credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Melissa Garcia interviews Anthony Maguire and Noelle Linder (credit: CBS)

Linder was issued a summons for “unlawful ownership of a dangerous dog,” and now faces six months in jail. Sophie faces euthanization.

“This situation happens all across our state, every single day,” Linder’s attorney Juliet Piccone said. “Our dangerous dog law has got to change. It has a mandatory death sentence for any dog that kills a domestic animal, which includes a goat or a chicken.”

The neighbors' chickens (credit: CBS)

The neighbors’ chickens (credit: CBS)

The chicken owners say they just want their animals to live in peace. They say the chickens were properly enclosed and that the incident isn’t the first time Sophie has attacked and killed their animals.

The dog owner said those claims by the chicken owners are false.

The chicken owners were not issued any citation for shooting the dog on their property. State law allows the use of a firearm to protect livestock.

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LINK: Petition For DA George Brauchler