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Family photo of Otis, used with permission, as supplied by the Paulding County Dog Kennel.

Missing dog killed, dumped; bullet hole in tags

Photo illustration by Kim Kanney
Kim Kanney created this photo illustration of Otis with his tags – each tag clearly showing a bullet hole – on the day before she went in for nine-hour breast cancer surgery.

Otis was a big, solid dog. A big brother to a visiting puppy, a cuddler with kittens, gentle with the family chickens. The only danger he posed to chicks was that his “big paw might knock one over.”

That’s why Bob Kanney wants to ask his killer, “Why did you wrap him in a tarp and pitch him where no one would find him?”

He said he can understand how someone might have shot the black Labrador retriever if he had gone onto their property and the person who shot him felt somehow threatened, but he just can’t understand the rest.

But someone did find the dog on her morning walk down an Antwerp, Ohio-area road that has few houses. She recognized the dog’s description and red collar that was posted on the Paulding County Dog Kennel's Facebook page.

Kanney then went out there to identify the dog, shifting his collar just enough to look at the tags, each with a bullet hole through it.

“We buried him Wednesday night. We cried all night,” he said. And then they had to move on, shift their energy. His wife, Kim, you see, was scheduled for a nine-hour surgery Friday in Fort Wayne for breast cancer.

On Thursday, she fashioned a photo illustration of the rescue dog they’d had for 4 1/2 years, with those bullet-riddles tags displayed on a heart.

“We knew of the impending surgery 2-3 weeks ago and burying our buddy and my best friend this past Wednesday night was the worse thing either one of us ever had to do, especially less than 48 hours from surgery,” Bob Kanney posted on Facebook.

Friday’s surgery went well, Bob Kanney said.

Paulding County Sheriff Jason Landers said Otis was found Wednesday several miles from his home near Antwerp.

He was reported missing May 5 from the 9-acre Kanney home, a place that offered plenty of things for a dog to do. Bob Kanney said Otis “never left the property by himself,” and that they’d had no problems with him straying before the day he disappeared.

Kanney said he doesn’t want this to happen to anyone else, and he hopes that whoever did this will come forward – or that someone else who knows what happened will do so.

He said on Facebook that he was blessed to have his constant companion, “running errands, fishing, walking through the woods, eating popcorn at night” and he hopes that others will pray for the person who did this.

“I am truly saying this from a positive standpoint because without the unbelievable bond and love I experienced from Otis I would never have felt that anguish.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s department at 419-399-3791.