QUEEN CREEK, Ariz. -- When Ray Epps and his wife, Robyn, let their dog, Lola, out before bed Saturday night, they expected her to give her usual double-bark to let them know she was ready to come in.
Only Lola never returned. They searched for three days for the 7-year-old Shih-Tzu mix.
"She was so lovable, and a real sweet dog. That's probably what made it easy for this person to take her," Ray Epps told 3TV.
Tuesday, a neighbor delivered the news Ray and Robyn had been dreading.
"He came over, told us he'd found Lola, and that she wasn't alive," Ray Epps recalled.
He went to a drainage area, where his dog was lifeless, with bullet wounds.
The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office sent an investigator out to the house near Pecos and Ellsworth roads. The community is full of several-acre lots, farms and livestock. Horses trot down the streets. Neighbors there are animal lovers, which makes Lola's murder even more of a mystery.
The Epps say down the road from their home, two calves were found shot to death earlier this month.
"We really need to find out who's doing this. It's clearly someone who's sick. It just doesn't make sense," Epps said.
The neighbors have pooled together a $1,500 reward for information in the shootings.