An Espanola family is reeling after the family dog, Pepper, was found shot and killed.
The Marsh family took their two dogs, Pepper and Bosco out for a walk near Black Creek on Sunday, May 7, when both of the dogs wandered off. Bosco was found and returned home with the family, but Pepper was never located.
The dog was a bundle of energy that had brought up the spirits of the entire family since being fostered from Pet Save, according to owner Wendy Marsh.
"Bosco was 12-years-old and seemed to be just giving up," said Marsh in an email to Sudbury.com. "This whirlwind came into our house and breathed fresh life into the whole house. Even the cats liked her. Bosco started to perk up and even started running and playing again."
According to Marsh, the dogs often got antsy after lunch and Wendy and her husband, Bob would take the animals for a walk. Sunday, May 7 was no different and the four set out for an afternoon stroll.
Bosco wandered off and Pepper followed, but only Bosco would return home from the walk.
The family looked everywhere for the missing dog, and put the word out on social media for anyone who spotted Pepper to let the family know so that she could be returned to her home.
"My last drive was down Duplessis Road at around 8:15 (on May 7), I drove along the road calling her name but nothing," said Marsh. "We decided to pack it in as it was getting dark and (there was) no use us getting lost in the bush."
The family pounded the pavement early the next morning and friends and strangers joined in the search for the missing dog.
"One lady was on her quad looking for her. The goodness of some people certainly outnumbers the evil of others," said Marsh.
"Our friend Roy came out and decided to walk the whole trail while we did the lower roads in case she came out there. As we were deciding to have another look at the cemetary, Roy texted that he had found her on Duplessis Road. Unfortunately, she was dead by then. She was laying in the water three-quarters of the way down the road."
The family took their deceased pet home, thinking that she had drowned while climbing through the swamp. They laid Pepper in the sun and were planning to clean her up before taking care of her body.
"We noticed a small hole in her forehead and blood starting to come out of her mouth," said Marsh. "We reached out to town police and they confirmed that she had been shot. What a shock to find out that some monster had taken her life in that way. She probably came out of the bush and was looking for her way home, maybe even approached this human monster for help, who knows?"
The Marsh home is much quieter now, and Bosco seems lost without Pepper around the house.
"I feel she came into our lives for a reason and was taken out for a reason, but I haven't figured out why," said Marsh. "To show us the love of a beautiful little animal and the joy that they can find in the simples things, but why was she taken?"
Marsh sent out her thanks to everyone who helped search for Pepper and to those who have sent their condolences.
"I hope this evil monster can be brought to justice," said Marsh. "If he/she did it to (Pepper) how many other innocent animals has he/she killed?"