The Dallas Police Department was looking for the man who shot a dog in the face in front of young children.

The Department said Friday that the unidentified man approached the children, aged between five and seven, near an apartment complex in Dallas on Feb.28. He apologized to the children before shooting the canine. He then took off on foot. The dog, a 9-month-old labrador retriever mix named Nolan, suffered a "major injury to his mouth."

Speaking to ABC-affiliated television station WFAA, Genola Vance, the dog’s owner, said the pooch followed her son and nephews who had stepped out to throw the trash. A few minutes later, the children came back home screaming "someone shot Nolan!" 

"They said he just looked at them, said 'sorry', and then shot him," Vance said, adding "He ran by me into the house and there was blood everywhere." 

Police were called to the scene; however, the suspect had fled by the time they arrived.  The dog was taken to a nearby animal clinic where it underwent emergency surgery. The bullet had passed through the dog’s mouth and exited through the jaw. An external fixator was placed on its jaw, which needs to be adjustments on a week-to-week basis by the vets. The surgery cost around $7,000. The dog was recovering and was on pain medication.

Vance said the family adopted Nolan in 2018. "We chose Nolan out of every dog at the shelter. He's like my son. I love my kids and I love him the same,” Vance said.

Though Vance did not know the reason behind the attack, she felt the dog had followed the children for a reason. "I think if Nolan wouldn't have run outside, maybe this man would have shot one of the kids. He took a bullet for my family. At the end of the day, I'm just happy he's alive and I'm going to do whatever it takes to make him better,” she said.

lab A man shot a dog in the face in front of young children in Texas. In this image, a labrador retriever is shown at The American Kennel Club Reveals The Most Popular Dog Breeds Of 2016 at AKC Canine Retreat in New York City, March 21, 2017. Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

In a statement released Friday, the Dallas Police Department described the suspect as “an adult male in a black hoodie.”  The department also requested people with any information about the suspect to report to “Crime Stoppers 877-373-8477 or Detective H. Tame with the Animal Cruelty Unit at 214-671-0115.”

The incident comes a few days after a Missouri man shot a service dog that was protecting its owner during an assault. The suspect, Mardrecuis D. Williams, and another man were told to leave a motel and not to return again after they had a fight with a woman, her boyfriend and brother. They, however, returned after the trio checked out and attacked them outside the facility. The woman’s service dog then attacked the suspect, who then shot the canine, injuring it severely. The suspect was arrested and charged with assault and injuring a service dog.