A family gathering in Quebec's Eastern Townships took a dark turn earlier this week when the family's dog was fatally gunned down in their front yard.

Jessica Lambert still can't wrap her head around what happened on Monday evening in Cookshire, just east of Sherbrooke.

Her family was gathered in the backyard, with kids present, when they heard a loud bang from the front of the house.

She made her way towards the sound, and saw her dog, Kricji, collapse from an apparent gunshot wound.

Provincial police confirmed a suspect, a neighbour of the Lamberts, was identified and interrogated the following day. 

"They seized five firearms in his home. And the suspect may be charged later with careless use of a firearm and animal cruelty," said the Sureté du Québec's Aurélie Guindon.

Lambert adopted the dog as a rescue eight years ago, and acknowledged having a hard time getting over the incident.

"He didn't put him down, he assassinated him," she said. "He was more than just a dog to us."

Fatal dog shooting Eastern Townships

Police said the suspect in the shooting could face charges of animal cruelty. (Submitted by Jessica Lambert)

Suspect identified

One Cookshire resident, who spoke with CBC News, said there was a disturbing familiarity about Monday's incident. 

Thérèse Lachance, who used to live in the same neighbourhood as the Lamberts, said two of her cats were also shot dead in the fall of 2015.

Lachance says after she had the second cat put down, the veterinarian gave her the bullet which was extracted from the cat's body.

After hearing about what happened to Kricji, she said she will contact the SQ to give them the bullet, which she hopes will be useful evidence for the investigators.

The SQ is encouraging anyone who may have evidence relevant to this case to contact them.