Officials are investigating after a dog was killed with a bow and arrow in Carver County on Tuesday, Oct. 12.
Reba, a 1.5-year-old Great Pyrenees, was the Swanson family's livestock guard dog at their farm in New Germany. She also was her parents' companion after their son died last year, Bria Swanson said in a Facebook post on Wednesday.
"Reba was senselessly killed," Swanson wrote. "We have witnesses that confirm Reba was not chasing deer or causing any harm. Reba carried a GPS tracker and we know she ended up over her property line while tracking a perceived threat."
That's when a neighbor, who apparently didn't own the property, shot Reba in the neck with a bow and arrow.
That neighbor told KSTP he was bow hunting and admitted to killing Reba, noting she was chasing deer. He said he made a split-second decision, which he regrets and knows was wrong.
Swanson, in an update on Thursday, said she has been "amazed" by the community's support since sharing about Reba's death. However, she said the family of the man who killed Reba has received threatening phone calls and fear for their safety.
"We absolutely do not support threats of physical harm to anyone and it is not in the spirit of Reba either," Swanson said.
Swanson added: "Good livestock guardian dogs (LGD) are just that, guardians. They do not hunt down or harm their enemies unless they have absolutely no other options. They patrol, they watch. When a threat approaches they let it be known that they will not tolerate it and 'escort' that threat away. I ask that we all strive to be more like Reba, who was growing to be one of the best LGDs out there.
"Our goal is not to cause harm, the goal is to prevent it. I understand the anger, and the desire to hurt others like they have hurt us but violence is not the answer," Swanson said.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is assisting the Carver County Sheriff's Office with the investigation, DNR spokesperson Joe Albert told Bring Me The News on Friday. But because it is an ongoing investigation, there isn't anything the DNR can share.