A disabled US Army veteran's service dog was found dead this week, having been shot in the head and dumped by a railroad in Kentucky.
Named Gunner, he belonged to Bryan Vallandingham, a 14-year veteran who had a special relationship with him and relied on him for safety.
Gunner was trained to alert Bryan's family whenever he was having a seizure.
Bryan Vallandingham's wife, Kimberly, told Fox 19:
"He would tell us by sitting in front of him, by laying across him, or [by] just barking randomly at Bryan. So he would notify us and give us time to get him in a safe situation so he wouldn't hurt himself."
The family said Gunner was stolen from their garden two weeks ago.
A family member also received a text saying they knew the dog's whereabouts and demanding money, but the family refused.
The police are investigating if extortion is involved with Gunners disappearance and death.