Published: Feb 22, 2013 11:00 PM EST
Updated: Feb 22, 2013 11:00 PM EST

GOODLAND, Fla - A Collier County dog is on the road to recovery after being shot last December.

Now, two months later, a neighbor is facing animal cruelty charges for pulling the trigger of the pellet gun and shooting eight year old Hotkee.

Hotkee spends his evenings walking freely around his Goodland neighborhood, lucky to be alive.

"For six weeks I had to give him medication for lung infection and antibiotics and he made it through, he's a tough little monkey," says owner Mark Schmitt.

In December, the 10 pound Chihuahua Shitzu mix, ventured down the street when deputies say 89-year-old Jack Swisher shot him with a pellet gun.

Mark took Hotkee to the vet, but they couldn't do surgery because the pellet was just centimeters from his heart. "It bounced off his shoulder and it's stuck right next to his heart," says Schmitt. "He's got to live with it right now."

According the Collier County Sheriff's Office, Swisher pulled the trigger because he was upset Hotkee was in his yard. Swisher told investigators the dog always runs around unattended and does his business on his property.

"If he does, it's nothing. This is his little territory all summer. These guys come here for six months and the guy pulls a professional rifle, pellet rifle and shoots him," says Schmitt.

Thursday, a warrant was issued and Swisher was arrested for animal cruelty bringing justice to Mark and Hotkee. "He's a good little dog, he's my best friend."

Swisher posted bond and was home Friday night, but declined to comment.