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A diabetic teen’s service dog was gunned down outside her Texas home, family says

Hannah Westmoreland, 15, and her family are mourning the loss of Journey, her service dog, while also searching for the dog’s killer.
Hannah Westmoreland, 15, and her family are mourning the loss of Journey, her service dog, while also searching for the dog’s killer. Courtesy

One North Texas teen is mourning the loss of her service dog Journey, while at the same time searching for clues that may lead police to the person who shot and killed her helper.

Hannah Westmoreland’s family has started a Facebook page called Justice4Journey after the golden retriever was shot on Sunday.

“Our sweet Hannah lost her best friend, the one that saves her life,” said one post on the page. “Although being rushed to the ER and emergancy (sic) surgery performed Journey did not survive through the surgery. Please help our family raise funds for a reward.”

Hannah, who is 15, has diabetes, and Journey, who was 4 years old, was trained to keep track of her blood sugar levels with his keen sense of smell, according to KTVT.

People in the rural town of Quinlan, which sits about 25 miles east of Dallas, raised $10,000 for the family to be able to adopt Journey, according to the Dallas Morning News.

On Sunday, Journey was taking a swim in the pond on the family’s property when the dog was shot and killed, according to the TV station.

Our sweet Hannah lost her best friend, the one that saves her life, her service dog....Journey. Journey was shot on...

Posted by Justice4Journey on Monday, January 14, 2019


Hunt County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jeff Haines, a department spokesman, confirmed to McClatchy that the department is investigating Journey’s death as animal cruelty.

Deputies were called to the family’s home at about 1:30 p.m. Sunday, and are investigating the dog’s killing alongside Hunt County constables, according to a news release.

The family has also started a GoFundMe campaign in Journey’s name. As of Tuesday afternoon, the campaign had raised more than $8,000 of its $20,000 goal.

The family says the funds raised through the GoFundMe campaign will go toward offering a reward for clues that lead authorities to an arrest.

No arrests have been made in the case.

Witnessing animal abuse can be difficult, but according to the Humane Society of the Unites States, it is important not to turn away from animal cruelty. Here are tips to help stop animal abuse.

Matt is an award-winning real time reporter and a University of Texas at Austin graduate who’s been based at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram since 2011. His regional focus is Texas, and that makes sense. He’s only lived there his whole life.


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