By Michael Rosenfield, WBZ-TV

BOSCAWEN, N.H. (CBS) — A family pet was shot and killed and his owner wants to know who did it and why.

Diablo was found shot-to-death near his home. (Credit: Wheeler Family)

Diablo was found shot-to-death near his home. (Credit: Wheeler Family)

“I want to know the truth,” said Sandra Wheeler, who owned the 10-year-old Smooth Fox Terrier named Diablo. “That was our little boy out there for two days, in the cold.”

Wheeler says something frightened Diablo and he took off running into the woods on Friday. She had been playing with the dog and her grandsons in the backyard.

“I grabbed my grandsons and ran as fast as I could through the woods calling and calling and he wouldn’t stop,” said Wheeler. “He just kept going.”

The family spent two days searching hundreds of acres, placed flyers around town and posted his picture on several websites.

A neighbor found the dog on Sunday in the woods. He had been shot in the chest.

“Somebody chose to take his life, some sick, sick, heartless person and chose to take my little boy away from us,” said Wheeler.

The Wheeler’s backyard borders a vast area of conservation land that is popular with hunters.

Police are not sure if Diablo was killed on purpose or by accident. They believe he could have been shot with either a rifle or a handgun—the bullet was not recovered and neither were any casings.

“I’m thinking someone was out there, saw the dog, and either shot it because they didn’t like the dog or shot it because they might have thought it was something else,” said Boscawen Police Sgt. Jason Killary.

At the Wheeler home, where Christmas trees and lights are already on display, the holidays will not be the same.

Sandra and her husband Craig are heartbroken. They had Diablo since he was 8-weeks-old.

“He was the most beautiful dog,” said Wheeler. “He did everything with us. He was our little boy we never had.”

Police say a reward is in the works for information that leads to the person responsible for Diablo’s death.

“He was a little devil,” said Wheeler. “But in the best way.”


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