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Wednesday, Dec 21, 2011County: Marshall
Suspect(s) Unknown - We need your help!
A Bremen couple told police that someone took their dog from their fenced in yard and then a few hours later someone brought the dog back severely beaten.
The dog was in such bad shape that he could not even walk and the vet had no choice but to put it down. The owners hope anyone with information will help their case and bring them closure.
Usually Laddie, a 14-year-old mini Sheltie, walks back and forth in his owner's backyard but his familiar face is now gone and the loss will be tough to forget.
"I was just hoping that something would happen and that he'd come back to us," said Richard Hepler, Laddie's owner.
Maria and Richard Hepler say they had no choice but to put down Laddie.
"He (the veterinarian) said, 'I'm just telling you, there's not much hope for him'," said Hepler. All of this happened on Wednesday afternoon. Hepler said someone took the dog from their backyard.
"I called him and I said, 'Laddie, Laddie, it's time to eat'," said Maria. "I opened the gate, set his food down but no Laddie. Usually he comes running."
The couple became worried and called police. Just a few hours later, they said someone brought the dog back to their home, shut the gate, and then left. Maria and Richard said their granddaughter found Laddie in the yard about 3 P.M but he could not walk nor move. Maria also said the dog was covered in eggshells, yolk, and mud.
"He's so little," said Maria. "You have to be sick to do something like that."
An animal cruelty investigation is currently underway. One neighbor said that she saw several kids taunting Laddie.
"I saw a kid in a black sweatshirt poking sticks at it," said April Baker. "He had a baseball bat next to his feet."
It is one of just a few clues police have to work with as a family copes and hopes for some closure.
"Today, I got up and looked [for their dog]," said Richard. "I hoped it was a bad dream but it wasn't."
The Bremen Police Department is looking for any tips or leads to why and who might have done this vicious act. There is a reward available if this case is solved. Anyone with any information about this crime are asked to please contact the Bremen Police Department at 574-546-3456 or Bremen Crime Stoppers at 574-546-5555.
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