BASTROP COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) – Ask a pet owner what’s their worst nightmare and most will respond losing their beloved animal.
That’s what happened to Robert Carnline and his family when someone stole their 6-month-old chocolate Great Dane from their backyard near Del Valle. It all happened on Sunday, Feb. 25 around 11 p.m. when the family says they were wrapping up celebrating their 5-year-old’s birthday party.
“That’s not my dog,” said Carnline. “That’s my baby, that’s my son.”
When they looked outside for Landon, they realized he was gone. Carnline says they searched the entire neighborhood but had no luck.
“We were yelling out,” he said. “I woke up all of my neighbors, everybody’s light was on.”
To their surprise, the next day, around 10:30 a.m., the dog was returned with “horrible” injuries throughout his body.
“He [was] hurt really bad,” he said. “Really bad.” The family’s veterinarian said the injuries were from dragging. A large laceration on the inside of the left leg, general abrasions on his back end from his legs to his bottom. Deep wounds to the bone were also found all along his paws.
“You know you just want to shake the world and say what the hell happened?” he asked. “Why did you do this to him?”
A note was also found apologizing and asking not to press charges. “My son took your dog,” the note read. “We will punish him accordingly. I do apologize again. Please don’t get the police involved. He’s just a kid.”
The Bastrop Sheriff’s Office is investigating this case. Sheriff Maurice Cook says the culprit could face two misdemeanors — animal cruelty and theft.
“We’re never going to forget and we don’t want anybody to forget,” said Carnline.
He’s asking the community to come forward and help find the culprit. The family says they plan to install security cameras around the property so hopefully this doesn’t happen again.
A fundraising page for Landon’s vet bills has raised more than its goal of $530.