When country artist Mindy McCready picked up a gun on Sunday afternoon, she didn’t just turn it on herself. She shot and killed her dog before taking her own life, according to Cleburne County (Arkansas) Sheriff Marty Moss.
The innocent animal belonged to her late ex-boyfriend David Wilson. The record producer – who is the father to McCready’s youngest son, Zayne – died of a gunshot wound in early January. The circumstances of his death are still being investigated.
But one of the biggest questions today is why the troubled 37-year-old would have taken her pet’s life.
“Mindy really loved her dog and that would not have been an act of malice at all,” a pal told Fox News. “It would have been more of a case where she just didn’t want to leave the dog alone.”
Dr. John Draper, the Director of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, agrees that such an act had nothing to do with the pet’s behavior.
“One thing is for sure is that she was obviously feeling very close to her pet and that this wasn’t an act of hostility with her pet,” Draper told reporter!. “It was probably more a statement of her close identification with her pet… I think what is often seen in these kinds of murder suicides is not just so much taking them with me as wanting to end the suffering for anybody or anything that you love that might suffer.”
Given the dog’s shared relationship with Wilson, this makes perfect sense.
Dr. Draper explains that while there’s no data as to how frequently people who commit suicide kill their pets along with them, he often hears that pets are actually a reason many choose to keep living.
“When people are asked what might be their reasons for living, what might keep them alive, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard them mention their dogs or cats or pets and what life would be like for their pet without them. And, that in some ways, that is what keeps them alive,” he says. “I think we often understate or neglect the importance of pets in people’s lives.”
Two other dogs were found at McCready’s home and reportedly were uninjured.