Chihuahua killed in backyard; owner wants answers

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HASTINGS, Mich. - A Barry County woman is looking for answers after her nine-year-old chihuahua Hershey was killed in her backyard.

Hastings police say it happened on July 19 around 8:00 p.m. The dog’s owner, Sharon Penny, says she let Hershey outside on his tie-out, and when she came back out a few minutes later the dog was dead from an injury to his head.

What exactly was used, police say, isn't clear. Some theories include a pellet gun or even a sling shot.



Penny says Hershey weighed less than seven pounds and didn’t stand but eight inches off the ground. She says it’s hard to believe it was some kind of accident, because whoever did it had to be in close range. “I would never imagine I would have somebody kill my dog," she said. "That was the one thing I couldn’t protect him from."

Penny says she moved into the house on High Street just 10 days before Hershey was killed.

“(Police) thought maybe I had lived here for a while and someone was unhappy that Hershey was barking and aggravating them," she said, "and the policeman's jaw dropped when I said I only lived here for 10 days."


Sharon Penney, dog owner

Hershey meant the world to Sharon. “You get attached to them. You treat them and raise them as a child; you love them and they love you back.  A dog's love is unquestioning, and its always there for you.”

Penny just wants whoever is responsible to come forward. “I want them to be accountable. I don’t hate them for what they did but I’m hurt.  They killed something that was living that felt pain and gave love and he was my baby."

Police say they have followed up on a few leads, but they're asking anyone with information to call the Hastings Police Department at 269-945-5744

Police Chief Jeff Pratt says once the officers heard Sharon's story, they actually started a fund among themselves to raise money to get Penny a new dog.

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  • Randy reed

    I’m sorry for you I have a little dog like that too they might be small they still care for you the same. We have to have more tolerance with each other I pray you find the person who did this

  • Muskegon

    i had to bury my daughters dog . he was lying in his indoor cage with his neck broke . no one home .
    it hurt me to see her loose her dog in such a way . so sad for everyone who has to go thru this stuff .
    landlord said if he ever saw that dog again he would break its neck . again i say no one was home .

  • George

    Whats being done?
    There can only be a small number of suspects, how about Fox going door to door and interviewing neighbors, on live TV.
    That will root out the cowardly douchbag

  • Teacup

    We have a chihuahua and she has NEVER been let outside…She uses a puppy pad – With Bee stings and other awful things, Chihuahuas are easy prey to any kind of predator just because of their size alone!
    People, Keep your little dogs like this inside…and always supervised.
    Sorry for your loss, However, This is just one among many reasons to be vigilant about safety!

  • Barbara Marble

    I live in Lakeview & have a fenced backyard but I never allow my 85 pound Lab mix out of my sight! At night she runs in the yard but I’m out there with her! I usually walk her in the daytime! There are so many crazy, mean people hurting dogs or stealing them for bait for dog-fighting & law enforcement does nothing:(. I am very sorry for your loss!

  • julie

    no offense here, but what makes the police think you can replace her dog or even that she wants another one? give her time to grieve this one, please….replacing an animal right away is not always the answer

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