VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia Beach family has hired a private investigator to determine who killed their dog, Titus, last November.
10 On Your Side first reported this story when it happened. Someone fired into the Dillon family’s backyard shooting their four dogs. One of them, Titus, died.
10 On Your Side returned to the scene of the crime to find a family who refuses to let this case go until the perpetrator is caught.
TJ, short for Titus Jr., is now running around Susan Dillon’s backyard. The rescue dog, which is the same breed as Titus, is to honor the memory of their deceased dog who they say was playful, loving, and full of personality.
“Our hearts were hurting so badly,” said Susan Dillon. “Titus Jr. has been part of our healing process.”
A still-unknown individual shot Titus in the Dillon’s backyard on November 16. An X-ray showed one pellet lodged in the lung and severed his aorta.
During the investigation it turns out, Titus wasn’t the only dog shot.
Dixie, another dog, was hit 3 times in the rear end. Sundance had 4 pellets lodged inside of him. Sugar Bear was riddled with 9 pellets. That’s 17 pellets total.
“After you did the story last December, we had several people reach out and offer to help,” added Susan.
One of those reaching out was a private investigator who offered to help and pieced together the incident.
“He came out, and through his range finder and compass and a lot of sophisticated equipment, he found the direction of the trajectory of the pellets.”
The investigation reported that pellet marks found in the Dillon’s fence were fired from outside the family’s property.
“We found it right in here where it had ricocheted right off, and shot into the ground, but we were able to find it,“ Dillon said.
The Dillons paid $1,000 for the investigator’s report, which brings the total to over $9,000 trying to find the shooter.
“It has given me great peace to know where the shots came from. It will give me greater peace to know who pulled the trigger.”
10 On Your Side will not identify the house where the investigator said the pellets were fired from because no one has been charged and likely won’t be. The evidence presented by the investigator clearly finds the trajected paths of the pellets back to a single home. We went to the home, but no one answered. We left a note to call us, but no one did.
Dillon has a higher calling in this case.
“To me, it’s not about the money. It’s about justice and finding this person and stopping him from doing this to another dog or another person.”
Dillon is still frustrated with Animal Control, which is part of Virginia Beach Police, who she thinks just gave up on the case even though four dogs were shot in a private backyard, and one was killed.
“The police just gave up because an air gun is not considered a firearm…they just stopped investigating, and I’m not even sure they went to the houses behind us to ask questions.”
When we first started reporting this story, the Animal Control Officer made it clear to 10 on Your Side that there would be no further comment, except to say the case is closed.
That angers Dillon.
“Look, this was no accident. This was a guy who methodically and deliberately hurt our dogs. To people who have said to me ‘OK, it’s time to let go,’ the police are not going to do anymore. The police don’t need to do it, I can do a lot on my own…these people have messed with the wrong dog mama.”
There is now a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the shooter.