According to the animal shelter and the Kittitas County Sheriff's Office, a 4-year-old Malamute named Kita was reported missing by her family on March 8.
The following day, she was found dead not far from her home on Patrick Mine Road in Ronald, an unincorporated Kittitas County community a few miles west of Cle Elum.
She was found with a single pellet gun wound to her left abdomen, and a necropsy revealed that she died from that injury.
Shane Peterson, Kita’s owner, says she was a loving dog who was very protective of his daughters Shia, 8, and Tinsley, 6.
"She fit right in, she took to us, we took to her, she took to my kids," Peterson said.
Kita was his hiking and fishing buddy, the best dog anyone could ever ask for.
Peterson says he and his girls gave Kita 24 hours to make her way back home, but after several unanswered calls, they went looking for her on foot.
"I walked up and there she laid about 40 yards behind the house," Peterson said.
Kita was making her way back home, but by then Peterson says it was too late, the bullet struck an artery -- her death came fast.
The father is angry and confused, wondering why someone would shoot her.
"If there's a reason behind why you did this, just please let us know, I have two little girls that are heartbroken over their dog," Peterson said.
While the family is now reluctant to let their other pets run around, the father says he's on high alert.
"I think anybody should be worried about their dog in the wrong place at the wrong time with whoever did this because it obviously could happen again," Peterson said.
Peterson says closure was finding Kita, having his girls pet her goodbye and getting this investigation going.
As they wait for justice, the Petersons are honoring Kita.
"We're going to have her cremated and we'll have some of her ashes put in some of her most favorite spots," Peterson said.
Pasado's Safe Haven is taking donations for the reward. You can learn more about donating here. If a suspect isn't found and prosecuted, all funds donated will stay in the general fund and be used for the care of all the animals at the sanctuary.
If you have any information on the shooting, call 509-925-8534 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and reference case number #S22_03265. All tips will remain anonymous.
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