Man accused of shooting and hitting dog with hammer makes court appearance

FARMINGTON, Missouri -- A man accused of shooting and hitting his dog with a hammer made his first court appearance Tuesday.

Jason Hampton left his yellow lab for dead, authorities said.

Animal activists and a supporter of Hampton clashed outside the St. Francois County Courthouse, KMOV reported.

"Easy to forget how bad he looked. They had to remove a quarter of his skin off his back leg because he was laying in his feces and urine and it burned through his skin," said animal activist Karen Runk.

Currently, the yellow lab named Trooper is living with a foster family.

"He had a less than five percent chance of walking again and he's now walking. He even runs, but he looks like a drunk sailor when he does," said Mandy Ryan with Missouri K9 Friends.

Hampton entered a not guilty plea on the charges of animal abuse.