Sheriff gets a new dog for veteran whose pup was shot on a walk last month

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A new dog for someone who lost his best friend.

It's been weeks since a 78-year-old Rushford veteran's dog was shot and killed while out for a walk, and still Winnebago County Sheriff's Office investigators say they have no leads.
William Carpenter says that on the afternoon of March 7th he was walking in the area of 8775 Fox Lane. "Got about halfway home--I heard a shot,” he told Action 2 News. “Come home and the dog didn't show up, so I went back right away and looked for it and found him lying dead--shot through the head with a high powered rifle."

But this weekend, something amazing happened for Carpenter: Winnebago County Sheriff John Matz delivered a new dog.

“You may recall a few weeks ago that Mr. Carpenter here suffered a devastating loss when his dog was shot and killed. While many people offered to replace his dog, Mr. Carpenter asked Sheriff Matz if he would help… After searching long and hard for just the right fit, the Sheriff picked up Lovebug last night from a rescue in southern Wisconsin. They got home late, so Lovebug spent the night at the Sheriff's house… But Lovebug was promptly delivered this morning to Mr. Carpenter,” reads a post on the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.

“I'm not not sure who looks the happiest here!!” the post says, with a picture of Carpenter and Lovebug.

Here’s the background of this story, and how you can help if you have any information:
Carpenter has lived on the same farm in the small town of Rushford his entire life and knows his neighbors well. He walks his two dogs every day. He says he has no problems with his neighbors.

Carpenter agrees with Winnebago County detectives that the 6-year-old dog named ‘Antone’ was someone's direct target— shot from hundreds of yards away.
"The shot placement on the animal clearly it looks to law enforcement that this was an intentional act,” Captain Dave Mack of the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office told Action 2 News.

Jack Theyerl is the lead detective on this case with the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office. Theryl said, "This gentleman was minding his own business on his own personal property doing a routine that he does every day, and certainly we need to ensure that he continues to be able to do that safely."

Carpenter says it's not unusual for people to have target practice in the area, and it’s made obvious from five bullet holes on the street’s stop sign. But Antone was very afraid of gunshots, and there had been none in the area lately, said Carpenter. Also, it’s not hunting season.

“Nobody has even been target practicing, trap shooting lately or anything—I am hard of hearing, so I maybe don't hear it, but the dog's would have. They always knew."

Carpenter had his dog Antone for six years. He says he bought him because he was depressed, and named him after his best friend in the Air Force who'd passed away.
He just wants to know who would choose to kill his dog. "Yeah, he was a good friend,” he said through his tears. “I'm so glad people are concerned, ya know."

Anyone with information that can help the investigation is encouraged to call Detective Jack Theyerl at (920) 236-7367 or email jtheyerl@co.winnebago.wi.us.

You can also remain anonymous by texting to 27463 the word IGOTYA followed by your tip.