No charges expected after dog found dead in tote in Boone County


By Chris Bavender

The Boone County Sheriff’s Office is attempting to locate the owner of a dog found dead Jan. 24 inside of a small tote with its lid taped shut on the side of Mount Zion Road in Lebanon. The dog appeared to have been hit by a vehicle and then shot once in the head before being placed in the tote.

“It took a severe hit, and the humane thing to do for that dog was to euthanize it immediately to limit its pain and suffering. It would not have survived,” Boone County Sheriff Michael Nielsen said. “It simply was the humane thing to do.”

Nielsen said no laws appear to have been broken in the incident and that he would have taken the same action if he’d found the dog in that condition.

“If there would have been any possibility of saving that animal I would have taken all possible means, such as finding a veterinarian or animal hospital that may be open in the middle of the night or calling 911 to report the injured animal,” he said.

The only possible infraction, Nielsen said, would be illegal dumping.

“But we don’t know what circumstance led to that – was the person who hit it the one who shot it and put it in the tote or was it stray running around and was hit or shot – we may never know that,” he said. “There is nothing illegal, however, about shooting a gun in the county – you can’t discharge a gun in some of city limits, but we are assuming it was euthanized out in the county.”

The Humane Society for Boone County provided a chip reader to check for the owner of the dog, but it did not have a microchip.

“I would love to be able to find the owner. I would be heartbroken if my dog was gone and would just really want to know. I am sure every other owner would want to know what happened to their baby, too,” said Susan Austin with the Humane Society for Boone County. “I also feel bad for the person who hit it – while maybe they didn’t do what many of us would think was the best decision, I know they have to be feeling bad about it, too.”

The dog was a large breed – possibly a pit bull-boxer mix – and was brown with black weaving stripes. Anyone with information about the dog or this incident is asked to contact BCSO at 765-482-1412.