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Summit County seeks suspect who shot, killed dog in its back yard

Published March 19, 2014 12:32 pm

Reward • Utah Humane Society offers $3,000 for information in case.
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Summit County Animal Control investigators are looking for the person who fatally shot a dog in its back yard, and they vow to prosecute the killer when they find him or her.

Burley, a 4-year-old black Labrador retriever, was found dead by Tom and Sherry Weaver about 5:30 p.m. Monday in the back yard of their Pinebrook home. The Weavers took the dog to the veterinarian to learn the cause of death, only to discover Burley had been shot several times by a pellet gun.

Summit County Animal Control Director Brian Bellamy said Wednesday that initially he was told the dog had suffered pellet wounds to the head, but X-rays revealed that the dog actually had died from multiple shots that entered its chest cavity.

"Our research indicates that for that to happen, the shooter must have been fairly close for the pellets to have penetrated like they did," Bellamy said. "This certainly appears to have been intentional."

The case initially was investigated by the Summit County Sheriff's Office, then turned over to Bellamy. He said that once a perpetrator is identified, he will screen an animal cruelty case with the county attorney's office.

Bellamy said he had three investigators on the case. In addition to interviewing neighbors, recent purchases of air rifles and pistols, along with pellet ammunition, were being checked at local stores.

"Our heart goes out to the family. We are still in the process of gathering information to determine who harmed the dog and then will proceed with appropriate charges," he said.

The Humane Society of Utah is offering a $3,000 reward for information that would lead to an arrest and a conviction.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Summit County Animal Control at 435-615-3985.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims