Authorities in Belle Plaine Township are asking for help to determine who shot a German shepherd multiple times, leaving it for dead in a ditch.
The Scott County Sheriff's Office was notified of the injured dog around 10 a.m. Monday, with the caller noting the animal was in a ditch near the 27000 block of Church Avenue, a rural area.
The responding deputy found the male German shepherd with what looked like multiple gunshot wounds. The dog was alive at the time, but on Tuesday died due to his injuries.
FOX 9 spoke with Mike Fontaine, the owner of the dog, whose name was Kirby. Fontaine described Kirby as "always friendly, always smiling, always wanting to please and he happened to be my best friend."
The authorities have at least one piece of evidence to go off of.
According to the sheriff's office, a nearby resident saw a vehicle enter the property, heard gunshots, then watched that same vehicle drive off. It was described as a late 2000s gray pickup with a slightly lifted body, "knobby" tires, and red circles around the hub caps.
Sheriff Luke Hennen called the case "disturbing," and said he's hopeful anyone with information will come forward in order to help authorities determine who is responsible.
Under Minnesota law, anybody who intentionally kills a pet or companion animal can face up to two years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine. Those penalties increase if it was done to terrorize or intimidate a person.
Wrote Fontaine on Facebook: "Please if anyone knows anything about my friend/dogs [sic] killer please contact the Scott county sheriff's department."