MOUNT OLIVE — A couple who could no longer afford their border collie tried to kill it by shooting the dog six times with a BB gun on Saturday, according to police.

But the story has a happy ending for both Scout and one of the doctors who treated him.

When Scout didn’t die, the couple took the animal to the Flanders Veterinary Clinic, where a doctor called police when the couple's story raised suspicions, according to Mount Olive Police. Dr. Jesse Gasparro said Scout had wounds in the back of the neck near the spine and the chest.

Gasparro said Scout was alert and "super confused" but in pain when Keith Ropp, 26, of the Flanders section of Mount Olive, and his girlfriend, Carly McBride, 24, of Long Valley brought him in for treatment.

The couple first tried to say that someone  else had shot Scout and wanted the clinic to put Scout down, according to Gasparro, who said the story fell apart when police found the BB gun in Ropp & McBride's car.

The couple told police they had taken on the responsibility for Scout's care but could not afford it and had tried for several months to find him a new home.

Mount Olive police charged the couple with possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and released them. The Morris County Prosecutor's Office is also investigating the incident..

A Scout lie under his desk, Gasparro told New Jersey 101.5 he is a quiet, gentle dog who gets along well with others and doesn't really care about cats. At 10-years-old he's not rambunctious.

"He's just a sweet dog. He'll put his head on your lap and wants you to pet him," Gasparro said.

Gasparro has been fostering Scout and will likely give him a new home.

"We just moved into a new house and I was originally planning to get a greyhound but then Scout came along. He broke my heart and I had to take him'

He'll also become the clinic's "office dog"

The Flanders Veterinary Clinic wrote on its Facebook page that "Scout is recovering well both emotionally and physically. What a sweet boy."

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ.

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