A Pinebrook family was shocked and horrified Monday evening when they came home to find their black Labrador lying dead in their backyard.
Tom and Sherry Weaver's 13-year-old daughter had let the dog, Burley, out into the family's fenced-in backyard in lower Pinebrook at about 4:15 p.m. on Monday. The family went out to run errands from then until about 5:30 p.m., when Tom said he went to the backyard and found Burley lying on the grass with blood underneath him.
Weaver immediately took Burley to a veterinarian, where about four pellets were recovered from the dog's body. The dog had been shot twice on each side of its body. After that, the family called the Summit County Sheriff's Office, who received the call at about 7:30 p.m. A statement was obtained from the family and Weaver said the responding deputy was planning on speaking with neighbors.
Still in shock about the incident on Tuesday, Weaver had choice words for the potential suspect involved in shooting his family's dog.
"I would tell them that they're a horrible person," Weaver said. "There's not any place in society for someone like that. If you don't value the life of a dog, what's next?"
Summit County Sheriff's Capt. Justin Martinez said that Summit County Animal Control is the lead investigator for the incident, but the Sheriff's Office could assist with the investigation, conducting interviews and collecting evidence.
Martinez stressed that the Weaver's dog was not killed by a firearm, but an air-powered pellet gun.
"Pellet guns are dangerous. If a pellet gun can kill a dog, enough pressure and enough pellets can penetrate the skull of a person," Martinez said.
Once the perpetrator is found, Animal Control will file formal charges with the Summit County Attorney's Office. Animal Control Director Brian Bellamy said his office's heart "goes out to the family."
Weaver said he would encourage anyone who knows about anything suspicious that occurred in the lower Pinebrook area on Monday, March 17, between 4:15 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to inform the proper authorities.
Those with any information on this incident should contact Brian Bellamy at 435-336-3247.
Update: The Humane Society of Utah is offering a $3,000 reward to any individual who provides information that leads to an arrest and a prosecution.