A dog accidentally shot and killed his owner using a rifle in a freak accident, according to officials in Kansas.
Joseph Austin Smith from Witchita was found dead near Geuda Springs on Saturday morning after he was killed when his dog stepped on the trigger of his rifle.
Smith, who is in his 30s, was sitting in the front passenger seat when he was shot by the dog who was on a back seat of a pickup truck.
Officers say Joe Smith died at the scene after his dog stood on the trigger of a gun GoFund Me
Police said the freak accident took place in the area of 80th Street South and River Road, which is 50 miles south of Wichita, and believe Smith died at around 9.40am.
The Sheriff’s Office said: “A canine belonging to the owner of the pickup stepped on the rifle causing the weapon to discharge.
“The fired round struck the passenger who died of his injuries on scene.”
Smith, who was a plumber, is being remembered for being a “loving and unique” man as tributes are paid following his death.
Chris Brown, owner of Brown's Plumbing Services and Smith's boss said: “Joe is absolutely the most unique individual I have had the pleasure of meeting. He was loved by all of us from all walks of life and loved the same.”
A GoFundMe page has been launched by Brown to help the family cover funeral and memorial costs.
He added: “No matter how bad or stressful my or our day was, Joe always had something to lift our spirits.
Freak accident: Pictures show that Joe Smith was an avid musician GoFund Me
“I have been a plumber for a long time and met many many different guys but never have I met another Joe and I am confident there may not be another.”
The freak accident follows the death of a 32-year-old man in Turkey who was reportedly shot and killed by his own dog in November.
Ozgur Gevrekoglu was killed while out hunting with his friend in the Kizlan Plateau, in the Samsun Province of Turkey.