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Diablo, a fox terrier owned by the Wheeler family of Boscawen, was fatally shot this past weekend, and police are trying to find out how that happened. COURTESY 

Family dog fatally shot near Boscawen home

BOSCAWEN - Police hope someone will come forward to explain how Diablo, a smooth fox terrier who lived on Hollins Avenue, was killed this past weekend.

Police Sgt. Jason Killary said Sandy and Craig Wheeler informed police that Diablo went missing after running off Friday. Killary said the couple put up posters in hopes someone would return the dog.Sandy Wheeler said she was surprised, but grateful to see so many people come help search for Diablo.

Wheeler said people from around the neighborhood and across town helped distribute posters and search for Diablo in the nearby woods.She said her husband, Craig, thought he heard a gunshot Saturday, but it's difficult to say whether it involved Diablo.

“Diablo was almost home when someone shot him,” Wheeler said, adding they often hear gunshots in the forest - usually from a distance.“He was my husband's best buddy,” Wheeler said. “He rode on his motorcycle and with my husband on the lawn mower.”

After searching the area for the next two days, the Wheelers found Diablo, who had died after being shot in the upper back, Killary said.“The dog was found about a sixth of a mile from the home,” Killary said.

As the black and white dog was “about the size of a purse,” Killary said it is unlikely that the shooter mistook Diablo for another animal.Killary said police determined Diablo had an entry wound, “one obvious exit wound” and another injury which could have been caused if the bullet fragmented.Killary said Diablo was returned to the Wheelers, who buried him in the garden.Killary said police continue to investigate the matter, which could result in a charge of animal cruelty, a Class A misdemeanor. He said no suspects have been identified.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Boscawen Police at 753-9124 or call the Concord Regional Crimeline at