Troopers find owners of dog killed on U.S. 1

Posted May 2, 2008 2:29 p.m. EDT
Updated May 2, 2008 5:21 p.m. EDT

— A family learned of their missing dog's death, caused by abuse, after state troopers tracked down the canine's owners on Friday.

The owners said they last saw their 3-month-old pit bull mix, "Terry," around 10:30 p.m. last Saturday. They had let the puppy out while they brought in groceries, and it slipped away from them.

About four hours later, troopers said someone placed a deflated soccer ball over Terry's head and forced it onto U.S. Highway 1 near Chris Cole Road. A car struck and killed the dog, troopers said.

The driver said he initially thought he had hit a construction cone, but called 911 when he realized it was a dog.

Family members said they had no idea who would have done this to their dog.

Trooper Jonathan Davis said animal cruelty charges will be filed if investigators uncover a culprit. Troopers said they do not have any definite leads so far, and the surface of the soccer ball prevented investigators from lifting any fingerprints.

A Sanford woman has offered a $200 reward for information leading an arrest in the case.

Anyone with information about this case was asked to call the Highway Patrol at 919-742-2124 or 800-445-8621.