Teen's service dog shot, killed outside of family home: 'He was my best friend'

A 15-year-old girl recently lost her “little hero” after someone fatally shot her diabetic alert dog outside her family’s home in Quinlan, Texas.

Hannah Westmoreland was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 8, but it wasn’t until a few years later that the family raised money to get her a service dog. Her mother, Tina Westmoreland, started a fund that brought in $10,000 from community members looking to help Hannah. Ultimately, a golden retriever named Journey came into her life.

“He was my best friend,” Hannah told CBS Dallas about the dog.

Unfortunately, tragedy struck the Westmoreland family on Sunday when 4-year-old Journey’s life was cut short. According to the local Texas news outlet, Journey was let out for his regular dip in the family’s pond before he was found bleeding from a gunshot wound.

“He was breathing really hard and his gums were white. Then he leaned his head in my lap,” Hannah explained. “I just went over there and kissed him in the head and told him everything was going to be OK.”

Hannah Westmoreland’s service dog, Dallas, was killed outside of her home. (Photo: GoFundMe)
Hannah Westmoreland’s service dog, Dallas, was killed outside of her home. (Photo: GoFundMe)

Despite efforts by a vet clinic to save the dog, Journey died. Now, the family is working with the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office to find out who the perpetrator is.

“He took Hannah’s little hero for no reason. He took what has saved her life more than once,” Tina told CBS Dallas of the unknown suspect. “[Journey] was going to be with her when she went to college to keep her healthy in college.”

Tina didn’t immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment. However, the family set up a Facebook page and GoFundMe called “Justice4Journey” in an attempt to raise money for a reward to help find the suspect.

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