ATTLEBORO — The beloved dog of a Slater Street family that went missing a day or two ago was found shot to death on Thursday with a stick apparently jammed down his throat.
“We’re devastated,” Taylor Henriques, the dog’s owner, said. “It’s horrible. We’re just trying to figure out who did this.”
The dog, a 3-year-old coon hound named Bo, was found off West Hodges Street in Norton in the right-of-way for high tension power lines that cut through the area, which is heavily wooded and frequented by hunters.
Slater Street runs near the Norton line. Norton police say they are investigating the incident.
Henriques said hunter friends of hers and her husband’s said the bullet may have been fired from a handgun and that it appeared that Bo had been shot at close range.
They posted a photo of the bullet online.
She said the area where Bo was found, was disturbed and had a number of bloody sticks spread around. It also appeared Bo may have been dragged, she said.
Henriques and her husband Steve Henriques took Bo to Tufts V.E.T.S. in Walpole Thursday evening to see if doctors could determine if the stick in Bo’s mouth was purposely shoved in.
“It looks like someone did it intentionally,” Taylor Henriques said.
The Henriques have two young children ages 5 and 2 and another dog, all of whom will be hit hard by Bo’s violent death, she said.
She said Bo would run off frequently, but would always come back in a few hours.
This time he didn’t, which prompted the Henriques and their friends to scour nearby woods for their pet.
After getting a tip that a dog fitting the description of Bo was spotted near the power lines they searched the area and found him.
“There were sticks everywhere covered in blood,” Taylor Henriques said.
The news touched off outrage among residents.
One who lives nearby believes the killing was no accident.
She didn’t want to be identified, but was angry.
“There is no way that dog was mistaken for a deer. He was black,” she said.
Another person who called The Sun Chronicle was brokenhearted.
“I’m just sick about this,” the woman, who also did not want to be identified, said. “Just sick. I shudder to think what that dog went through.”
Meanwhile another dog is missing in the neighborhood and residents are worried about it, Taylor Henriques said.
In a statement released Thursday night, Lt. Todd Jackson of the Norton police said the incident was under investigation. The statement said Norton police responded to the scene after receiving a report the dog had been found dead on Thursday. The statement said the animal had a laceration but no obvious sign of a gunshot wound, but that police were later told by the owners that they had recovered a bullet from one of the dog’s wounds.
A spokesman for the Animal Rescue League of Boston said there was no information on the case immediately available.
An online post by Taylor Henriques later in the evening said the family is working with the ARL and that she and her husband were taking Bo to a veterinary hospital in Grafton run by Tufts University for a necropsy.
If anyone has information about the shooting, call Taylor Henriques at 774-254-4805.