Dodge Center Family's Dog Shot to Death

June 30, 2018 11:27 AM

(ABC 6 News) -- A Dodge Center family is grieving after someone killed one of their dogs on their own property.

Steve and Jennifer Collazo say the condition they found their mastiff in was gruesome.


When Steve and Jennifer go to work, they say they keep their mastiffs inside of a gated fence. It allows them to roam the three-acre property.

“It is our sanctuary,” said Jennifer. “This is like our heaven on earth.”

The couple says their dogs are family.

“We love mastiffs,” said Jennifer.

“You can see how they are, they are very laid back,” said Steve. “This is probably the best breed that I have ever come across. They are very gentle.”

Steve and Jenifer had three mastiffs: Luther, Lucy and Mara.

Tuesday started off like any other day.

“Someone asked me what I was going to when I got home from work, and I said 'all I am going to do is come home and see the dogs,'" said Jennifer.

But when she home from work that day,  “I couldn't find two of the dogs so I walked the property."

Lucy was fine, Luther was hiding, but Mara was found near the front of the property in a wooded area.

“I heard flies and looked down, and that's when I saw Mara,” said Jennifer.

She was dead; Mara had been shot in the head several times. 

“I was in shock,” said Jennifer. “It didn't even look like Mara.”

Steve believes someone went out of their way to kill her.

“They had to come in the actual woods to get a shot near here,” said Steve. “How would you even know these dogs were here without living here?"

Jenifer called law enforcement. “There were no shell casings and it was obvious it happened where the dog dropped. There was some evidence of someone coming up to the outside of the fence.”

The Dodge County Sheriff's Office said it’s investigating the incident.

“We do think we know who did it,” said Jennifer. “What you know and what you can prove are two different things.”

Having lived on their home in Dodge Center for 29 years, the Collazos feel violated.

“We just want justice for Mara,” said Jennifer. “Mara, like we said, she was eight months old. She didn't deserve it.”

“We hope something comes of it,” said Steve. “Because there's a lot of cruelty to animals and people don't pay for it.”

The Collazo’s yard is emptier now.

When asked what they would say to the people who took Mara’s life …“What can you say about someone who does that to a dog?” asked Jennifer. “There’s really nothing you can say.”

Sheriff Scott Rose said the person who did this could potentially face charges of trespassing, animal cruelty and reckless discharge of a firearm.

The family is hoping someone will come forward with information that will help the case.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Dodge County Sheriff's office at (507) 635-6200


Hannah Tiede

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