Family Dog Shot, Killed Playing in Yard

Pet detectives on the case

Bear, a lovable 4-year-old lab mix, was shot and killed while playing inside his fenced yard Friday night.

"He was my child," owner Sandra Benson said. "I called him my son. I would call him the "mama's baby" and he would run to me."

Benson wasn't at her home in the 5300 block of B Street SE at the time. Her 17-year-old daughter let Bear outside. After she heard Bear barking, a shot rang out. She rushed out to the horror of her beloved Bear shot in the neck.

The Washington Humane Society rushed Bear to the Friendship Hospital for Animals.  Veterinarians tried everything, but they couldn't save Bear. 

"The damage was so severe that they had to put him to sleep," said his grieving owner. "I just wanted to know why did someone shoot my dog?"

Benson said Bear had never bitten or bothered anyone. He was good with children. He never left the the safety -- which turned out not to be so safe -- of the family yard.  Perhaps adding to the crime of opportunity is the fact that the street light was burned out so the area was very dark.

"It's a felony in the District of Columbia," said Scott Giacoppo, vice president of the Washington Humane Society.

Pet detectives, that is, professional investigators from the Washington Humane Socety, are on the case. A $1,000 reward is being offered for help catching the culprit.

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