APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz. -- Apache Junction Police are investigating the killing of a pet dog, shot while inside his own front yard.
“It’s senseless. I can’t explain; it hurts so bad,” said the dog’s owner, Ted McDowell.
McDowell found “Scrappy” as a stray five years ago. He described the dog like a child.
“He was such a lovable, great dog,” said McDowell. “He was our buddy.”
McDowell told 3TV around 9:30 p.m. Sunday, he let Scrappy out in the fenced, front yard of his home on East Junction Street, as he normally does. However, instead of finding his pet waiting by the door, he found him suffering from two to three gunshot wounds in the corner of his yard.
“I found him laying right there,” said McDowell pointing to the spot. “Somebody walked up and shot him.”
A spokesman with Apache Junction Police says, as of now, detectives don’t have many leads, and they can’t say whether or not the case may potentially be related to the shootings of three animals in nearby Queen Creek.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the killings of two calves and a shih-tzu mix named Lola. All three were found dead in a neighborhood near Pecos and Ellsworth, where deputies have now stepped up patrols while they search for the person responsible.
“We want to make sure this isn’t a serial type situation where someone is shooting animals,” said Sheriff Joe Arpaio. “I’m very concerned about that.”
News coverage of the recent cases has left McDowell and others wondering whether the cases may possibly be linked.
Ted McDowell just wants justice for his beloved pet, who now has a memorial headstone in the front yard.
“I want the person caught. There’s something wrong with them,” said McDowell. “They’ve gotta be found. It’s just sick.”
McDowell says he’s offering a $500 reward for information leading to an arrest. Anyone with information is urged to call Apache Junction Police at (480) 982-8260.
If you have information regarding the Queen Creek cases, call MCSO’s Animal Crimes Hotline at (602) 876-1681.