YOBS fired air rifles at a homeless man and shot his pet dog dead.
Three men with air guns are believed to have fired at the tent in which David Baker was staying near Duke's Drive in Handbridge, Chester.
Mr Baker, originally from Malpas, ran outside and wasn't injured but the thugs continued to shoot at his pet dog which received wounds to its chest.
A resident took Mr Baker and his dog to a vet but the labrador cross died of its injuries overnight. The resident said the dog was Mr Baker's only friend.
The incident happened during the afternoon two weeks ago on Tuesday.
The victim, aged about 29, is too upset to talk about what happened.
But a Handbridge resident, who does not wish to be named, has hit out after witnessing the aftermath of the attack while out walking.
He said: 'The men that shot his dog are often seen out and about in that area. They are in their 20s and come from Handbridge and are well known to dog walkers.
'They have got fed up with shooting squirrels, birds and tree stumps and they decided to shoot at this man's camp.
'They fired at his tent and he came out of the tent. His dog, his only friend, came out with him to see what was going on and they shot it at close range. The bullet went through the chest.'
The resident, a pensioner, heard the dog wailing and went to the man's aid.
He gave them a lift to the Gatehouse Veterinary Hospital at Lavister.
But the animal died in the night. The local Good Samaritan picked up the £44 bill.
He said: 'It's a horrible incident. I don't think it's very easy for him to cope with.'
He added: 'I don't think this young man is a problem to anyone. I spoke to him in the car and he seems an ordinary lad. I understand he has had a lot of problems to cope with and he's not got any family support.'
Noel Walker, a partner at Gatehouse Veterinary Hospital, said the pellet had penetrated the dog's chest up to the shoulder blade.
'Somebody must have fired at the dog as it was running towards them. It is very unfortunate the dog didn't survive,' he said.
Mr Walker said the dog died of serious internal bleeding. He said it was unusual for a pellet to cause so much damage. It had been considered best not to operate when the animal was admitted as this normally caused worse problems.
He added: 'It is disgusting for someone to have fired at a domestic animal.'
Ken Archer, general manager of Chester Aid To The Homeless (CATH), said: 'Not everybody is fortunate enough to have another human being as a friend. Some people do rely on dogs.'
* Mr Baker feels too vulnerable to return to his tent and is currently staying in a CATH hostel with a view to him being housed.
* CATH is holding a sponsored sleepout on Friday, December 7 in the car park of St Francis' Church, Grosvenor Street, Chester, to raise funds and awareness about homelessness. Anyone interested in taking part can contact Mr Archer on 01244 314834.