Dogs are not usually known as picky eaters, but very few would find live ammunition appetizing. That is, unless you are talking about a Belgian Malinois named “Benno.” According to his owner, Larry Brassfield of Mountain Home, Arkansas, Benno has a documented taste for bizarre things. Included in the list of things the dog has eaten—or tried to eat—are: a chunk of dry wall, glass, a whole television remote, and an air filter for Brassfield’s lawnmower. The adventurous dog added the latest entry to that list when he chewed, mangled, and ultimately swallowed 23 .308 rounds last month.
“You can baby proof a house,” Brassfield said in an interview with The Baxter Bulletin. “But I don’t think it’s possible to Benno-proof a house. Lord knows, we’ve tried and failed.”
On the morning of April 22, Brassfield and his wife woke up to Benno emptying the contents of his stomach all over their floor. Brassfield first became concerned when he found a chewed-up .308 round in the vomit. A short while later, Benno threw up again and disgorged another three rounds. That was when Brassfield decided to take his dog to vet.
Yet, how did Benno manage to get his paws on the ammunition in the first place? Brassfield recalled that he had been organizing his ammo the night before and had set aside a small amount of .308 rounds in a plastic bag. Since Benno had never shown an interest in ammunition before, Brassfield thought it was safe to leave the bag in plain sight. It is one mistake that he says he will never make again.
“I won’t be leaving ammunition laying around anymore, I can tell you that,” Brassfield said. “But really, you’re never going to stop him. It’s just a question of what he’s going to eat next.”
Judging by the missing ammo, Brassfield knew that his dog consumed a good portion of what he had left out, but he had no way of knowing exactly how many rounds found their way into his dog’s stomach. The veterinarian who treated Benno, Dr. Sarah Sexton, ended up removing 16 battered rounds from the dog’s stomach. There were still some left in Benno’s digestive track and esophagus, but Sexton decided it was safe enough for him to push those through normally.
Brassfield, for his part, said he will continue to try to Benno-proof his home. S
You can watch an interview with Larry “Sonny” Brassfield and Dr. Sexton below: