DEXTER, Mo. – Parker, an elderly dog from Dexter, Missouri, ran away from home during the thunderstorms Saturday night. A family who wanted to return him to his owner found him. Within hours, the Stoddard County Sheriff’s Office officers picked up Parker, drove him out to Otter Slough Park, shot him, and left him in a ditch.

“We don’t have any way of taking care of a dog,“ an officer told the dog’s owner, Bryan Pennington.

The family who found Parker posted a photo of Parker; this is the photo right before the deputy picked him up.

Pennington posted a video of the interaction on his Facebook page, calling out the Sheriff’s department for finding and shooting his dog. He wrote, “Parker showed no aggression towards him or anyone during this. I saved Parker from being shot nine years ago in Doniphan, Missouri, because the guy couldn’t afford to feed him.”

Pennington continued, portraying Parker not just as a pet but as a friend. He praised Parker’s skill in catching more mice and moles than any other cat.

Parker went missing on a stormy Saturday night. He ended up on someone’s porch. The person who found Parker shared his photo on Facebook, and then called the Stoddard County police, letting them know they found this dog. An officer came over and picked up Parker.

Pennington called the Sheriff’s office after finding out Parker had been picked up by police. Authorities came by for a home visit and a request for pictures from Pennington of Parker. Later, Pennington was informed that Parker was at Otter Slough.

“Parker has been missing an eye for years, had a broken leg from when he was a puppy, and has scars all over. When I got him from the ditch, there was no blood or any new scratches.”

Pennington said the lady did what anyone would do in that situation.

In response, the Stoddard County Sheriff’s Office announced an investigation into the incident, acknowledging concerns over its handling.

“On Sunday, August 27, 2023, at approximately 1 p.m., the Stoddard County Sheriff’s Office received a call regarding an injured dog in the rural Dexter area. Several concerns have been raised about the handling of this call,” said Sheriff Carl Hefner in the post. “I am aware of these concerns and have requested the Missouri State Highway Patrol investigate this matter. The Stoddard County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office supports my request for an independent investigation.”

Stoddard County Prosecuting Attorney Sawyer Smith has also launched an investigation into Parker’s death. He posted a letter on the Facebook page stating that “Prosecutor Smith has requested a formal investigation by the Missouri State Highway Patrol pertaining to an incident that occurred on or about August 27, 2023.”

Public Response

Triple H Rescue Ranch is asking for donations to build a dog kennel in Parker’s name. The rescue’s owner, Brenda Kay Collier, mentioned that she has room for dogs and stated in her Facebook post, ‘Parker would have been in that shelter until I found his owner if I had been called.’

Pennington concludes the Facebook post by saying, “From the time he picked Parker up, and I got a hold of them, it was less than 30 minutes. Now, I have to explain to my children that Parker went to doggy heaven.”