Mo. State Highway Patrol asked to investigate death of dog in Stoddard County

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is being asked to look into the shooting death of a dog in Stoddard County.
Published: Aug. 29, 2023 at 6:48 PM CDT
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STODDARD COUNTY, Mo. (KFVS) - A southeast Missouri sheriff and prosecutor are asking for an independent investigation following the killing of an injured dog in Stoddard County.

It happened over the weekend outside of Dexter. Tylla Pennington said the family dog named “Parker” got loose on Sunday.

A stranger found him injured and made calls to get help, and one of those calls went to the sheriff’s office.

“My husband got a call on Facebook,” she explained. “They said, ‘I think Parker is on somebody’s post, they think he might have been hit.’”

Pennington said they reached out to the person who posted about it and were told someone from the sheriff’s office had picked him up.

“The officer called us and asked if he could come to our home, he wouldn’t tell us anything over the phone,” she added.

About 15 minutes later, Pennington said a deputy arrived at their door.

”He wasn’t saying anything,” she said. You could tell he was pretty upset about it.”

“Then my husband asked where he was. The officer didn’t say anything at first, then he said, ‘I had to put him down.’ It was just heartbreaking, absolutely heartbreaking,” added Pennington.

Pennington said “Parker” was more than a pet, he was a member of the family since they rescued him nearly 10 years ago.

“He was very protective of us, but also the most loving dog, he was needy.”

KFVS reached out to Stoddard County Sheriff Carl Hefner for comment.

He sent us a letter he sent to the Missouri State Highway Patrol asking for an independent investigation.

In the letter Hefner said, “Several concerns have been raised about the handling of this call and accusations have been made about criminal wrongdoing.”

Sawyer Smith is the Stoddard County prosecuting attorney. He too is asking the Highway Patrol to investigate the incident.

“Sheriff Hefner and I have communicated about this situation, and each of us know that it is very important for the people in Stoddard County, how it is responded to, and we want them to know that it is not being ignored,” said Smith.

“I don’t want to jump to any conclusions, this is why I requested the independent investigation,” he added. “If they refer to me that the crime was committed, I will certainly do what I think is the right thing.”

As Pennington and her family wait for answers, they’re hopeful something like this never happens to anyone else.

“We still don’t know if Parker was on his deathbed, but the pictures that we seen right before the officer picked him up, Parker was setting up, with his head up, ears perked up,” said Pennington.