A Haliburton, Ont., couple are demanding justice after their two dogs were found shot and killed last week.
According to Lacey Finch, last Thursday evening she and her boyfriend were cooking when they let their two pet dogs — Hunter and Hunter’s three-month-old puppy Nova — outside in the backyard of their home along Trappers Trail, about 18 kilometres east of Haliburton, about 100 kilometres north of Peterborough.
Finch said about 10 minutes later she heard the sound of gunshots.
“They were out of my sight for minutes. I called them. I heard the shots,” Finch told Global News Peterborough on Tuesday. “I was just hoping that either it had nothing to do with the dogs and it was just a coincidence … or it was someone just sighting in their gun and the dogs were just spooked and would come back. But they never came back.”
Finch and her partner went to search for their dogs and located “markings” on the ground of their neighbour’s adjoining property. Finch said it appeared as if something had been dragged through the dirt.
They followed the trail and soon found the bodies of their beloved canines buried under a pile of sticks. The dogs’ collars with custom ID tags had been removed, but are missing, she said.
The couple removed the dogs from the property but Finch says she couldn’t “look at them to say goodbye.”
“It’s hard to even think about it — I close my eyes and I have images of it,” said Finch. “I don’t need to see what it actually looked like. I just know that they were buried together with Hunter embracing her baby. She had her favourite toy and her favourite blanket.”
Finch described both dogs as innocent and friendly, noting their neighbour’s adjacent property has no pets, livestock or children.
“There is nothing that my dogs — especially a three-month-old puppy — posed a risk to. Hunter was a gentle, caring mom. She wouldn’t have even growled,” said Finch.
Haliburton Highlands OPP were notified of the shootings and said the dogs had “apparent gunshot wounds.” On Tuesday police were not available for an interview but told Global News the investigation is in its early stages and ongoing.
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Finch says her “sweet babies” deserved a better fate and that the shooter(s) need to come forward.
“I miss them a lot obviously. They are a huge part of my life,” she said. “Coming home to them every day and them being so excited to see me. Sleeping in the bed with me, keeping my spot warm for me.
“Justice for me is hopefully just making people more aware that their actions cause a lot of harm to people, especially when they don’t give any warning.”
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call Haliburton Highlands OPP at 705-286-1431 or toll-free at 1-888-310-1122 or anonymously via Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
On Wednesday morning, OPP said they were aware of social meeting postings discussing the shootings.
“The OPP would like to remind the public that the person responsible for this has not been positively identified by police,” OPP stated. “The Haliburton Highlands detachment will be investigating any incidents that appear to be in response to this shooting.”
—with files from Tricia Mason/Global News Peterborough