Allie Carter of Avilla was wounded during a waterfowl hunt on Saturday morning at the Tri-County Fish and Wildlife Area in northern Indiana, according to Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
She laid her 12-gauge shotgun on the ground while repositioning herself and her 11-year-old chocolate Labrador stepped on the gun, depressing the trigger, said Indiana Conservation Officer Jonathon Boyd.
The safety of the shotgun was not on, so it went off and Carter was shot in the left foot, Boyd said.
Carter, who had never completed a hunter education course, was hospitalized. She suffered non-life-threatening injuries from the bird shot pellets and was treated and released, Boyd said.
Indiana officials said that users of firearms should always point the muzzle in a safe direction and use the safety mechanism. Anyone born after Dec. 31, 1986 is required to take a certified hunter education course before purchasing a hunting license in Indiana.
However, anyone can get up to three apprentice hunter’s licenses without taking such a course, if accompanied by a person who has taken it, Boyd said. Carter had an apprentice license and does not face any charges.
“We encourage everyone to take a hunter education course before they venture out in the field,” Boyd said.
Boyd, who has been a conservation officer for seven years, remembered one other occasion when a dog shot its owner – a man hunting rabbits was shot after he leaned a gun against a tree, and his beagle stepped on it.
Carter could not be reached for comment.