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Missing dog found shot, family grieving after five day search

HOWARD TOWNSHIP — A Niles family is mourning their dog missing since Oct. 16.

A Husky mix, with bi-colored eyes, was found dead five days later with five bullet wounds to its head.

Slash had gotten out before, according to owner Jaimi Clifford.

She said as soon as Slash got out of the family’s yard gate 2 p.m. on Oct. 16, the Cliffords began searching for him. The last update they had on a sighting was near Dick Street and Huntly Road by a neighbor.

On Wednesday, the Cliffords searched a large wooded area for Slash. Soon after entering the woods, Jaimi said her husband, Aaron, spotted Slash in a back yard on their street. Slash was dead when they found him.

Cass County Animal Control and the Cass County Sheriff’s Office are involved with the ongoing investigation.

The family was active in their search, beginning the first afternoon when he did not return home.

“We drove around that entire night calling his name,” Jaimi said. “Normally what he does when he gets out, he runs and he’ll be free for a couple of hours, and then he will be done. He will come to somebody. That’s what he did: he chose to come to somebody, and he chose wrong.”

Jaimi said if Slash ever did stay out missing all night, the family would be able to retrieve him the next day. Being missing for more than a day was concerning.

Jaimi said she and husband, Aaron, had rescued Slash five years ago. There were signs of abuse when they adopted him, including a broken jaw and hip.

They wanted to give him a better life, Jaimi said. Slash quickly became a part of their family, with their two children.

Despite the signs of abuse, Slash was friendly to humans with a hesitancy towards men, according to the Cliffords.

“We gave him the best love we could,” Jaimi said. “He had just turned seven. He was such a loving dog.”

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