NORTON (CBS) — Beau’s family found him in the woods, lifeless. His collar had been removed, he was impaled with a stick, and he was shot, they say.

“He was like our other child. We have two children, a five-year-old and a two-year-old, and he was like our fourth child, we have a German Shepard also. So he was the baby. They always came everywhere with us. They were spoiled, spoiled rotten,” said owner Taylor Henriques.

The Coonhound enjoyed running the woods behind their home on the Attleboro/Norton line but he always came home — until he didn’t on Tuesday.

beaukilled Attleboro Family Searches For Answers After Dog Is Found Shot

Beau the dog was killed in Norton (Courtesy Photo)

The Henriques family put a search together and that’s when they found Beau dead.

“There was a log in the middle of the path, with a stick coming out of it and it was covered in blood. And it looked like maybe he had run into it by accident and impaled him,” said Steve Henriques. “I put him up on my shoulder, I heard like a crack in his ribs, like a pop, and left him the spot where he popped and I think the bullet that was lodged in his ribs actually popped through.”

To the family, it appears like someone was trying to stage Beau’s death as an accident, like he died when he ran into a sharp branch.

But there was also a hollow-point bullet, in Beau’s body. That type of bullet spreads open on impact to maximize damage.

“I have a feeling that he was out there, doing what he usually does, tracking and howling, and someone was out there hunting and didn’t want him around,” said Steve.

Taylor added, “He’s been out there plenty of times where he’s never came back with a scratch on him and his collar is always, always, always, always on.”

According to Mike Defina of the Boston Animal Rescue League, “If a dog is injured or hurt or killed in a hunting incident, the person who fired the bullet, is actually required to report it.”

Norton Police released a statement saying they were continuing to “actively investigate this senseless case of animal cruelty. We are being assisted by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Animal Cruelty Division, Environmental Police and Norton Animal Control.”

If you have any information call Norton Police at 508-285-3300.

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