Man offers to pay dog adoption fees for shooting victim

Grants Pass, Ore. — After learning that shooting victim John LaRue lost his dog in the violent incident on Saturday, a Cave Junction man is stepping forward, and offering to pay the adoption fees for a new pet.

Police say Joseph Sallman used an AK-47 to spray LaRue’s truck with bullets. He says without his dog Ben, he’s sure he would have died.

“He was shot multiple times,” LaRue said, talking about Ben. “But the dog kept putting himself in between me and bullets.”

LaRue was shot twice, one bullet through his shoulder, and another in his chest.

“I called 911 and popped the bullet out of my chest,” LaRue recalled, but Ben had shot five times. “He looked at me and started whimpering, because he knew he was dying.”

Ben died in the front seat of the truck, just minutes after the shooting.

“He just laid his head down and stared and me, and passed away,” LaRue said.

It’s a moment LaRue can’t get out of his head, now living with the grief of losing his best friend. It’s something Cave Junction resident Bryan Saint John can relate to.

“I just lost my dog in September, and I know what it’s like to lose a family member,” Saint John said.

That shared experience prompted Saint John to make an offer to LaRue, to pay the shelter adoption fees for another companion.

“A dog is the only animal that loves us more than it loves itself, meaning it would gladly give it’s life for us, and his did,” Saint John said.

While LaRue is grateful, it’s an offer he says he can’t take just yet.

“He was a great dog, and I don’t want to just go and try to find another dog to replace him, because he’s not replaceable,” LaRue said.

Saint John says he’s willing to pay the adoption fee whenever LaRue is ready.

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