QUINLAN, TX (KTVT/CNN) – The Hunt County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the shooting death of a service dog in a town 45 minutes east of Dallas.
The family who owned the dog described the shooting as mysterious.
Hannah Westmoreland wasn't even a teenager when the town of Quinlan raised $10,000 for the service dog named Journey.
Westmoreland,15, lives with diabetes.
"It just kind of became pretty important for her to have something," said Tina Westmoreland, the girl’s mother.
Journey, a golden retriever, was specially trained to detect the smell when Hannah's blood sugar was low.
“They let him go and he just ran right to me,” said Hannah of the first time she met the dog.
The dog was with the family for nearly four years.
"Very loving and gentle, caring," Hannah said.
Journey was always by Hannah’s side to alert her.
"He would hit me with his nose," she said.
“He hit her pretty good, right in the leg,” said Tina Westmoreland.
On Sunday morning, Journey was let out for his daily dip in the pond he loved outside his family’s rural home.
That’s when someone shot the 4-year-old service dog while his family was inside.
"He was breathing really hard and his gums were white, then he laid his head on my lap,” Hannah said. “I just went over there and kissed him on the head and told him everything was going to be OK."
Journey died despite efforts by a vet clinic to save him.
The family has no idea who did it or why.
"He took Hannah’s little hero for no reason,” Tina Westmoreland said. “He took what has saved her life more than once. He was going to be with her while she was in college to help keep her healthy in college.”
"He was my best friend," Hannah said.