Unidentified assailants shot and beheaded a 3-month-old puppy belonging to an officer with the Parsons Police Department in Kansas.
Officers responded to a call from the dog’s owner on Dec. 3.
Speaking Wednesday on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends,” Parsons Police Chief Robert Spinks said Ranger, a purebred German shepherd puppy, had been left in a “fenced backyard with water, food” before the owner dozed off on an “unseasonably beautiful day here in Parsons, about 73 degrees outside.”
She had let her dog into the backyard at 7 in the morning, according to a Dec. 3 news release from the department.
When the officer woke up and went outside at 2 p.m., she found the dog dead, its head chopped off.
Investigators believe that “one or more individuals” cut off the dog’s head with a sharpened blade in another place before bringing the corpse to the backyard.
“The head has not yet been recovered. And also we found the muzzle of the animal,” Spinks told Fox News.
“In my 41 years as a police officer, this is obviously a very dark, evil, heinous crime,” he said. “Not only because of the animal cruelty, which is a felony in Kansas, but also because it’s obvious that our officer was targeted. Her patrol car was parked in the driveway.”
In a statement in the department’s news release, the chief said, “I cannot even describe my feelings of disdain for the person(s) responsible. I am an avid dog lover as I have made it clear to the community over the years that I have been here, I have 2 rescue dogs, one that I adopted from our local shelter. The level of cowardice that would lead someone to kill a little puppy named ‘Ranger’ is astonishing.
“I pray that we get a chance for the judicial system to prosecute this coward and bring them to justice. We have reached out to the neighborhood to gain video from home surveillance systems in the area in order track this despicable criminal down.
“This is disgusting enough that it was done to an animal in our community, but when you add in that this appears to be a targeted attack on the home and personal property of a police officer, this makes it nothing more than a hate crime. I will be talking to the Labette County Attorney’s Office as well to charge it as such if we bring a suspect to light.”
The person or people responsible likely will face animal cruelty and trespassing charges if apprehended.
The Parsons Police Department is providing a reward for anyone providing information that leads to the culprit’s capture and conviction.
The department said in its news release that it was offering the reward because of the “alarming nature of this crime.”
The reward initially was set at $1,000, but it was increased to $4,000 after donations from the community to the reward fund.
“If someone is willing to mutilate an innocent puppy due to the very nature of the owner’s career, then it is possible that the suspect is willing to go even farther into the criminal underbelly and attack innocent children or family member to make a statement,” the department said in the news release.
Those with information on the case are encouraged to contact the Parsons Police Department at 620-421-7060 or through its tip line at 620-421-7057 or via email at [email protected].
“We are calling on our citizens again to help solve a case,” Spinks said in the news release. “Someone somewhere knows something, and we just need to be told. So that we can follow up.
“We have hundreds of people in the community that are avid dog lovers. Please put your ears to the ground, let us know if you hear anything.
“I want this criminal brought to justice for our dog loving community and the family of poor Ranger.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.