MANAWA (WLUK) -- A Manawa man has been arrested for shooting and killing his neighbor’s dog.
The Waupaca County Sheriff’s Office says they arrested Jeff Buttles for the crime on Friday.
Gypsy, a 1 1/2 year old Great Dane, is the dog that was killed. It belongs to Justin and Autumn Beese.
The Beeses says they’ve never talked to Buttles.
“Our kids don't really know how to cope with this or understand why somebody would even do that,” said Justin Beese.
On Sunday morning, as they sometimes do, the Beeses say they let their two dogs out to run around their rural Waupaca County property.
“15 minutes later our black lab came back to the door and he seemed really nervous for some reason,” said Justin Beese. “Something didn't seem right about him.”
It was likely because Gypsy didn't return with him. Justin went to look for her in the woods where he says Buttles keeps deer carcasses.
“When she wasn't there, that is when I started getting a lot more concerned that she took off a little further than normal or whatever,” said Beese.
Beese came across paw prints and a trail of blood on his fourth day of searching. At the end of the blood trail, he found what appeared to be four-wheeler tracks.
“Then I really knew for sure that somebody had shot my dog and came and picked her up out of the woods,” said Beese.
The Beeses say the Waupaca County Sheriff's Office told them Buttles admitted to shooting Gypsy and throwing her in the Little Wolf River, 12 miles from the Beeses’ home.
“It's not a coyote, it's not a fox. it's not a racoon,” said Autumn Beese. “It was a domesticated animal that is loved.”
“It was really obvious it was two pet dogs,” said Justin Beese.
Waupaca County Sheriff Timothy Wilz declined an on-camera interview about the case. However, on the phone, he told FOX 11 the only time it is legal in Wisconsin to shoot a dog that comes onto your property is if it has attacked or threatened to attack a person or livestock.
“We do understand our dogs are not supposed to be on other people's properties, it's just not like we always realize that they're doing that necessarily,” said Justin Beese. “Generally, they stay on our property.”
The family has now turned its attention to finding Gypsy's body. They'll be searching the river on Saturday.
“I don't think she deserves that as her final resting spot, you know?” said Justin Beese.
The sheriff's department is recommending a charge of cruelty to an animal, resulting in death.