Bulawayo - It's every dog-owner's nightmare: the family dog follows you out of the gate and gets mistaken for a stray and shot.
But worse was to come for Bulawayo man Jonathan Mangando.
Not only was the family pet killed by council cops in a stray dog cull but Mangando too was shot and badly injured, according to a report in the state-controlled Sunday News.
The grieving 20-year-old now has three bullets lodged in his legs and urgently needs an operation, the paper said.
The incident happened on Friday evening in Emakhandeni suburb, Mangando told the paper's reporter Tatenda Gapare.
When he opened his gate to investigate where shots he'd heard were coming from, his dog slipped out too - with disastrous consequences.
The Sunday News quoted Mangando as saying: "I am angered by the fact that they shot my dog which is not even a stray dog, it came out because I was by the gate."
"I am in too much pain, I can't even move my legs," he was quoted as saying.
Municipal authorities sometimes carry out culls of stray dogs officially to cut down on the rabies risk. State media reported in March that a cull was ongoing in the southern city of Masvingo.
But owners sometimes complain that family pets and guard dogs are wrongly targeted.
Animal rights activists last year opposed the use of firearms to cull strays in Bulawayo, warning then that they posed a danger to residents.
Mangando's sister Evelyn told the Sunday News that "many" dogs had been shot in the latest cull. She said municipal cops were shooting "even if the dog was inside the yard."
- News24 Nigeria