BOONE COUNTY, KY (FOX19) - CRIMESTOPPERS is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case of a slain service dog.
Gunner assisted a disabled veteran in Richwood, Ky. The veteran's family says the dog was found fatally shot in the head and dumped by railroad tracks in Boone County.
Gunner was crucial for the veteran's safety. He alerted family members when Bryan Vallandingham would have seizures. Vallandingham was a 14 year Army veteran.
The family believes the dog was stolen from their yard more than two weeks ago. He was found dead Monday near the tracks along Dixie Highway.
The veteran's sister said the Boone County Sheriff's Office is investigating if extortion is connected to Gunner's disappearance and death.
A relative said they started getting text messages from a person claiming to know where the dog was. According to the family, the person ordered them to put money on a gift card but they refused.
The family got him three years ago, and he grew into a member of the family.
"He would notify us if Bryan was getting ready to have a seizure. He would tell us by sitting in front of him by laying across him or just barking randomly at Bryan so he would notify us and give us time to get him in a safe situation so he wouldn't hurt himself," his wife, Kimberly said.
The extortion investigation is ongoing.