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Family Searching for Answers After Their Dog is Found Hanged Near an Elementary School

Family members say a passerby found the dog hanged near a playground

February 01, 2012|Emily Rittman, Ben Knaup | Reporter, Photographer

Greene County, Mo — A family is searching for answers after they say someone found their dog hanged near McBride Elementary school. The family says it appears someone intentionally harmed their pet. Because the dog died at a park, park rangers are looking into the incident. They say it is an open investigation.

Three-year-old "Spider" was more than a pet to Tanya Davis. “That was my baby,” Davis said. “I took him everywhere with me.” Davis’ 13-year-old sister brought the dog to a playground near McBride Elementary Tuesday night. “She let him run around,” Cynthia Kessler said. “She was playing with him.” Kessler says at one point her 13-year-old daughter, Savannah, tied the dog's leash to a small fence near the playground.  “She came back down and she couldn't find “Spider” his leash his collar everything was gone,” Kessler said.

During their search for Spider, they found him dead. “He was lying on the ground behind the bathrooms at the pavilion, no leash or collar or anything,” Kessler said. She says a passerby found the dog and took it down to keep any children from seeing it hanged. “It was an intentional hanging he wasn't tangled in his leash,” Kessler said. “Someone had actually hung him. There was no possibility of an accident because they had to physically take him down and put him down on the ground and take his leash and collar off.”


Kessler says her daughter was hysterical. “I'm glad that they did take him down because I can't imagine if Savannah had walked around the corner and had seen him,” Kessler said.

On Wednesday Spider's leash hung from a nail on the pavilion. The family wants to know exactly what happened. “It was really devastating to know I was going to have to come home and talk to my children,” Kessler said. “The way it happened I was just so shocked. It just never occurred to me that anyone would do that.”

A spokesperson for the park rangers investigating the incident says they are currently interviewing possible witnesses and do not have any final conclusions on the cause of the dog's death.

Anyone with information can call either the Greene County Sheriff’s Office or Springfield-Greene County Park Board and ask to speak with a park ranger. The family hopes anyone with information will come forward.

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