"The door was open and the latch had been cut on the door," said Nixon.
Nixon was confident a burglar didn't stand much of a chance against his guard dog, Shocker, a pit bull that sleeps inside. But when he opened the door, Nixon made a terrible discovery.
"Found the dog dead, laying down there dead," he said.
Nixon got the pit bull as a puppy and had him for nearly seven years. He said Shocker always barked when someone tried to open the door, and that should have given the burglar fair warning.
Nixon said it appears the intruder beat his dog to death with a sledgehammer taken from the shop. The unknown culprit fled the scene empty-handed.
"Evidently between them trying to get rid of the dog and my friend rolling up on them, they probably didn't have the chance to get nothing," said Nixon.
Investigators are still looking for the intruder, who will face breaking and entering and animal cruelty charges if caught. Nixon said he hopes that person gets the maximum possible penalty.
"They need to stress the emphasis of that, give them more time, and maybe they'll think about before they kick in someone's door," he said. "It might be good that I didn't catch them."
Nixon said he's had three break-in attempts in the 15 years he's been in business. He's already looking for a new dog to take over guard duty
Police have a vague description of the suspect they believe killed his dog. Anyone with information related to the alleged crime can contact CrimeStoppers at