CLAREMONT – Eight-year-old shorkie Sophie was supposed to go to the vet on Thursday after hurting her shoulder jumping off the deck at her home.

But when one of Sophie’s owners came home to bring her to her appointment, Sophie was found dead near the home’s propane tank. She had been shot, Michele Swift, one of Sophie’s owners, said Friday.

“I’ve been crying a lot, but now I feel like I want people out here to be aware that this could maybe happen to them,” Swift said. “I don’t feel safe with our other two dogs. I don’t know if somebody is going to come and do it again.”

Swift said that Sophie, a Yorkshire terrier – Shih Tzu mix, had been with the family since she was only 4 months old. Swift’s husband, Tim, called the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office after finding Sophie, and they looked around the area of the home in the 11000 block of 595 Street. Tim Swift even went to speak with some of the people working in the corn fields around their house.

An incident report from the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office indicates that a deputy spoke with farmers working in their fields in the area and one reported seeing a white SUV they didn’t recognize. Another reported a black Ford F-350, four-door pickup, but neither reported seeing them stop or drive into the Swift family’s driveway.

Dodge County Sheriff’s Capt. Ryer Anderson said that while incidents like this have happened in the past, this was the first time something like this has been reported this year. Anderson said Friday that the office had no suspects, and unless the Sheriff’s Office received new leads, the case would remain closed.

“It’s in the country, so when somebody finds their dog in their yard shot, you have to understand that dog could have wandered anywhere,” Anderson said. “Unless we have some reason to believe there is a certain suspect involved, our investigation won’t go any further than what we’ve got.”

The incident report indicates that Sophie was shot with a .357-caliber firearm or larger in front of her hind legs below her spine.

Swift said her family’s home sits on about 6 acres, has an underground fence and is surrounded by corn fields. There aren’t any woods nearby, so she said it was unlikely it would have been a hunting accident.

Swift said Sophie and the family’s other two dogs were protective of their home and would bark and maybe even nip at anyone who came on the property. She doesn’t know why someone would be on their property and wondered if someone was there to rob them.

“You’re mind goes crazy. Absolutely crazy,” Swift said.

What's your reaction?


Public Safety Reporter

Emily is the Post Bulletin's public safety reporter. A Minnesota native, Emily worked at two newspapers in New England before returning to the Land of 10,000 Lakes in July 2018.