RICHLAND COUNTY (WKOW) -- The Richland County Sheriff's Office has confirmed that it is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a Viola family's nine month old dog.
Officials told 27 News Monday morning that they've been getting inquiries from the public about it, but it's still an open investigation.
Megan Kelter owned the dog, named Mayzie. She said she and her daughters left the house for about 30 minutes on Thanksgiving Day. When they returned, they couldn't find their dog.
Shortly after that, she said a Richland County deputy made his way over to the house.
"He approached me," she said. "He came up to my door and told me my dog was shot."
According to Kelter, the deputy told her they apparently received a call from someone who wanted to know what could be done about Mayzie, who was a "dog at large."
Richland County prohibits dogs from being off their owner's property and loose in the area.
"They were told that would only get a dog at large ticket," she said. "Then [the sheriff's office] got a call back five minutes later stating that my dog would no longer be a problem because my dog was dead and [the caller] had shot it."
Kelter said they were heartbroken. Because it was hunting season, she was trying to take all precautions to keep her three dogs from running loose but thinks maybe her other dog opened up the makeshift fence on their deck, allowing Mayzie to get out.
"She was super cuddly, she was a sweetheart," said Kelter.
Mayzie was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago, and couldn't walk very well. But for Kelter and her daughters, the dog was family.
'I don't think she ever growled in her life," she said.
Days later, Kelter said she still doesn't fully know the details of her dog's apparent death or have her body. She said she has her reservations about how seriously the sheriff's office is taking her case.
But officials with the department said they're working on criminal charges. The District Attorney's office to 27 News Monday that they do not have any information on the case because they haven't received it. Officials said they are likely still working on getting those over.
Kelter said getting her story out there is a way of making sure others don't have to experience what she did.
"(I want) justice for my dog, and for anyone else who has dealt with anything close to this, with people taking it into their own hands to take the life of their family pet," she said.